St. Francis Medical Center Hosts Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon

Oct 4, 2012

St. Francis Medical Center hosted the ninth annual Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon in Cape Girardeau this Wednesday.  Nearly three hundred physicians, supporters, and survivors attended.

Notable Cape Girardeau citizens such as Mayor Harry Rediger and prominent St. Francis Medical Center physicians volunteered as wait-staff.

Proceeds from the luncheon go to Dig For Life, which provides free mammograms for uninsured women. It is also part of the St. Francis “Pink Up Cape”.

Dr. Olivia Aranha is an oncologist at St. Francis. She says these efforts are an important part in turning the tide against the leading cancer in women.

“In the past year, there were over 260,000 women that were diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 39,000  women died from this disease, so these efforts that are universal have increased the number of survivors,” Aranha said. “We are now 2.9 million survivors strong.”

According to Linda Decker, Executive Director of the St. Francis Foundation, it is the small efforts like volunteering and displaying the pink ribbon that have made this event such a success.

Decker says support has grown steadily since last year.

“We have provided nearly two thousand mammograms to women in need.  Dig for Life has been around for more than a decade, but with the Pink Up Cape movement over the last three years, it has really made an impact. And we look forward to really helping hundreds of women this next year,” Decker said.

According to Dr. Aranha, only 51 percent of women get mammograms.

Next year, St. Francis hopes to offer free mammograms for all uninsured women within their service area.