BATON ROUGE, La. (NBC 33/Fox 44) Baton Rouge General (BRG) has kicked off its annual “Protect Your Pumpkins” movement as part of the hospital’s breast cancer awareness campaign promoting annual mammograms for women 40 and over.
“Unfortunately, COVID-19 has had many people delaying healthcare out of fear of contracting it – from doctor visits to emergencies to screenings — and the negative effects on people’s health have been dramatic,” said BRG President and CEO Edgardo Tenreiro. “For screening mammograms, we are seeing a 14% decrease compared to last year, so breast cancer awareness month and the reminder to schedule your mammogram are even more important than ever this year.”
Typically, BRG promotes awareness in October by giving away pink pumpkins for people to display at their homes in honor of breast cancer survivors. But, because there are usually more than 5,000 people at the pop-up pink pumpkin patch, BRG is skipping the patch this year. Instead, there will be breast cancer awareness reminders in other ways at the hospital and around town:
- A Protect Your Pumpkins display will pop up at all three hospitals – Bluebonnet, Mid City and Ascension – as well as all BRG Physician clinics
- Protect Your Pumpkins yard signs will pop up overnight across the Baton Rouge area, in the yards of breast cancer survivors and BRG employees
- Pink Protect Your Pumpkins masks for sale in the BRG gift shops
- Follow the #ProtectYourPumpkins movement on social media
On the Bluebonnet campus, the pink display is located along Bluebonnet Blvd. near the intersection with Picardy Ave. At Mid City, the display is located on the corner of Acadian Thrwy. and North Blvd. And at the soon-to-open Ascension hospital, the display is near the hospital sign at the entrance, facing Hwy. 73.
Women in the U.S. have a 1-in-8 lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. A mammogram can often find or detect breast cancer early, when it’s small, and even before a lump can be felt. Women over 40 should talk to their doctor about their risk for breast cancer and when they should schedule a mammogram. Early detection leads to a greater range of treatment options, including less-extensive surgery and fewer serious side effects.
“Breast cancer deaths have dropped dramatically in the past two decades, thanks to better treatment, greater awareness and more women getting mammograms,” Tenreiro added. “But, we can’t get complacent. Most women 40 and over need a mammogram every year, and we want to make it as safe and easy as possible.”
Mammograms are available at BRG’s Bluebonnet and Mid City campuses, as well as its imaging location on O’Neal Lane. Mammograms will also be available at BRG’s soon-to-open neighborhood hospital in Prairieville. At all its imaging locations, patients will find socially distanced waiting rooms with improved scheduling for minimal wait times, as well as deep cleaning of all equipment between patients.
Women can schedule a mammogram by visiting protectyourpumpkins.com or calling (225) 769-1847.
BRG’s Pennington Cancer Center was the Baton Rouge area’s first accredited comprehensive breast center by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. The hospital’s breast imaging center was also named a breast imaging center of excellence by the American College of Radiology.
The hospital’s Healing Boutique is a first-of-its-kind retail shop offering supplies and resources for both men and women with all types of cancer. The full-service store, located in the BRG Gift Shop, specializes in cancer-related items that span the full spectrum of patient needs, from pillows and journals to lotions and hats, to eyebrow kits, wigs and prosthetics.
For more information, visit protectyourpumpkins.com.
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