Kadlec shines light on Breast Cancer Awareness Month with flag tradition

RICHLAND, Wash. — October marks the start of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and one local hospital is doing its part by continuing its annual flag-raising tradition.

Dozens gathered at Kadlec in Richland Friday morning to watch the flag raise and hear from multiple speakers, including doctors, the hospital’s chaplain, and a breast cancer survivor.

The flag, created by volunteer and auxiliary member Jan Jacobs, features the signature pink ribbon and flies over the hospital throughout the month “in recognition, celebration, and commemoration of breast cancer awareness,” according to Jim Hall, Kadlec’s chief philanthropy officer.

It’s been a familiar sight over the past 20 years as health officials continue to remind community members that the disease impacts one out of every eight women.

“About 10 years ago, I found a pea size lump,” said Misty Ovens.

What followed was a double mastectomy and rounds of treatment. But Ovens said she’s grateful she listened to her body.

“We know our own bodies better than anybody so if you do your self-exams, that’s going to be your best bet to catch something that you know isn’t right,” Ovens said.

Dr. Sherry Zhao, a radiation oncologist, echoed Ovens’ sentiments, emphasizing the importance of getting mammograms.

“That does usually result in detection of earlier stage breast cancers,” Dr. Zhao said.

According to the state’s department of health, for women, breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths.

If you need a new car and want to help out a good cause, the Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation announced that local Speck car dealerships are donating one mammogram per vehicle sold this month.

The Kadlec Foundation is also partnering with Numerica Credit Union for their mammogram assistance fund which helps women who can’t afford the procedure.

“Let us lift up those who are finding their way through this cancer storm,” said Kadlec Chaplain Wayne. “Remember them. They are more than their diagnosis.”

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