The Centralia Police Department is fighting a new foe, but one that is older than the city they serve.
They have teamed up with the nurses and doctors of the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center to bring the Elis Fischel Mammography van to Centralia, Tuesday, Oct. 6 on the east side of the Centralia City Square Park.
“It will be parked in front of City Hall,” said CPD officer Logan Feger. “We are doing this in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Singleton and Sneed ends of Rollins will be blocked off to ensure people easy pedestrian access.”
The CPD is a motivated group.
Feger said many of them have good reason to want to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month and encourage people to take the first step in beating cancer.
“Several of us have lost family and friends to breast cancer,” he said. “About 200,000 women a year are diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 40,000 a year will die from it.”
As part of their commemoration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Feger said the CPD has tied pink ribbons on the radio antenna of all its patrol vehicles and wrapped “A thin pink line,” around each of our badges. We do this to honor all those fighting cancer, as well as its victims.”
According to the American Cancer Society, Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (only lung cancer kills more women each year). The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 38 (about 2.6%). Since 2007, breast cancer death rates have been steady in women younger than 50, but have continued to decrease in older women. From 2013 to 2017, the death rate decreased by 1.3% per year. These decreases are believed to be the result of finding breast cancer earlier through screening and increased awareness, as well as better treatments.
The Ellis Fischel web site describes the mammography van.
“With a private mammography suite and changing room, the van is designed with patient needs in mind. Appointments generally take 30 minutes from check-in to completion, and completed scans are sent to Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, where they are read by a certified breast imaging radiologist. If follow-up care is needed, the mamm van team contacts the patient to ensure she gets the appropriate care.
The all-female clinical staff aboard the van provides mammograms, clinical breast exams and breast health education to women throughout Missouri. In 2018, 2,559 screenings were performed on women from 49 counties.”
“We are doing this to encourage women to get tested, get mammograms,” Feger said, “early detection is the best protection.”