Local organizations raise mammogram awareness before the Race for the Cure

Mercy Health and Dave's Running Shop host mammogram sign-up event (WNWO).

TOLEDO, Ohio (WNWO) -- It may not be breast cancer awareness month yet, but it's never too early to start the conversation.

Mercy Health is getting ready for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and teamed up with Dave's Running Shop locally to help women in the area prepare.

They're working together to get women not only ready for the race, but make sure they're living up to the message as well.

"It is always a good idea to talk about it because you can't emphasize enough how important it is to be screened," said Jill Johnson, Certified Nurse Practitioner and Coordinator of the Survivor Clinic at ProMedica's Hickman Cancer Center.

With the race just over a month away, the local organizations are raising awareness with mammogram sign-up events.

"So over a six week period runners can come in and get ready for the race and part of that is making sure they're up to date on their mammograms," said Corinne Smith, Community Health Improvement Coordinator, Mercy Health.

Health officials say that maintaining a healthy weight and active lifestyle are two ways to reduce your risk of getting breast cancer.

"Things can affect you negatively and how you can counteract that positively by being active and running or walking or just doing something that is active and gets your heart rate going and keeps you moving," said Jim Pool, Wellness Director, Dave's Running Shop.

Most women don't show symptoms which is why mammograms for early detection are key.

"If the breast cancer is caught early, which is the purpose of any screening, the chances of treating it and surviving it are much higher than obviously a late found or an advance stage breast cancer," said Johnson.

Doctor's suggest that women age 40 and up should schedule a mammogram. But those that are considered higher risk for example if it runs in the family, or those with dense breast tissue, should speak to a doctor about being screened at a younger age.

"So women with particularly dense breasts, and a lot of times that runs in families, should be very very aware of getting a screening mammogram perhaps earlier than age 40," said Johnson.

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