UMV MRC Members Help with Community Service

Two volunteers from the Upper Merrimack Valley MRC were on hand during a recent annual event that promotes breast cancer awareness and early detection at a local high school. Mary Bater and Sharlene Locker joined public health professionals at Westford Academy on April 5 to distribute literature and help teach BSE (Breast Self Exam) to the senior girls.

Sharlene Locker of the UMV MRC shares a model with one of the girls attending a noontime session about BSE.

Dr. Doris Pliskin, a surgeon based in nearby Lowell, explained to the girls that one woman in eight or nine is expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her life. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. To detect this disease early, when it's the most treatable, BSE is recommended once a month, 7 to 10 days after a woman's period. The procedure can be done within ten minutes.

The girls watched a short video that described cancer and methods of detection, including BSE. Then Dr. Pliskin discussed myths and facts of breast cancer, followed by opportunities for questions and answers. To conclude the session, Bater and Locker joined Dr. Pliskin and public health nurses in sharing portable models containing lumps for the girls to detect.

Other members of the MRC have already signed on to assist at future community service events. The next opportunity to get involved is a health fair in Tyngsboro on April 30.

Upper Merrimack Valley Medical Reserve Corps, 55 Main Street, Westford, MA 01886