October 11, 2011


Public Health Lecture Presented: Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast cancer awareness was the focus of a public health lecture at Northeast Alabama Community College recently on the NACC campus to a near-capacity crowd. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the lecture was presented by Kay Page, owner of MMI Breast Center PC of Scottsboro.

Susan Barron, Director of High School Relations and Event Planning at NACC, welcomed those in attendance. “We are very pleased to provide this health lecture today,” said Barron. “We want to continue to provide informative lectures and invite anyone who might have a health topic in mind for a future lecture to let us know.”

Heather Rice, Director of Development at NACC, introduced the speaker. Rice and Page worked closely together for 10 years when Rice was employed with the American Cancer Society. “Kay is a caring person,” said Rice. “Her passion is saving lives and her message is always if you know someone who needs a mammogram, ask them to have it done.”

Page thanked Barron and Rice for the opportunity to be at Northeast. “I have been in the field of mammography for 40 years. I worked at UAB for 21 years before returning to Scottsboro and I have been back for 15 years,” she said. “We have state-of-the-art digital technology at MMI. This is the best tool for the earliest detection of breast cancer. It can identify a problem two years before the human eye can see it. That’s why 25 percent of those who have a mammogram are asked to come back for an additional test (ultrasound) to make sure that anything suspicious is evaluated further.”

Page presented the information about breast cancer. MMI Breast Center went digital in 2007 and is upgraded every six months. MMI was the first in Northeast Alabama to go digital. They perform a mammogram every 15 minutes during office hours, with 5,000-6,000 mammograms being done each year. The mammogram is the best tool to find breast cancer at the earliest stage. One out of 8 women will get breast cancer. A baseline mammogram is usually done between the ages of 35-40. After 40, one is done every year. Mammograms are compared from one year to the next. Self-examinations should be performed each month. Jackson County currently has 600 women and 5 men with breast cancer. One out of 100 men get breast cancer. Breast cancer does not sit still – it travels the body through the lymph system. “Prevention of breast cancer includes maintaining a healthy life style, keeping weight in a normal range, exercising, limiting alcohol intake, limiting hormone replacement (because of risk of estrogen fed breast cancer cells), and breast feeding your baby if at all possible,” said Page.

Page introduced breast cancer survivor, Margaret Phillips, who also addressed the crowd. “I am a 14 year survivor,” she said. “I have had a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation, as well as two additional medicines for 10 years after being diagnosed. I did not have a lump, I had an indention that I knew did not look right. You should always be aware of your body and of any changes. For you nursing students in the audience, as you work alongside your doctors, please remind your patients to have regular mammograms. It can save lives.” Phillips, as a survivor, is a preferred spokesperson with the American Cancer Society. “When they contacted me, I was glad to help. I love helping others and am blessed to do so.” A support group is available for patients/survivors. They meet every month on the second Tuesday at MMI Breast Center.

The lecture concluded with a question and answer session. After the lecture, Page also made available an artificial breast which simulates lumps in the breast for those interested in learning more about self examinations. For more information about mammography and MMI Breast Center, contact Page at 256-574-2883. The center is located at 110 South Broad Street in Scottsboro.

For more information about the health care lecture series, contact Susan Barron, Director of High School Relations and Event Planning at NACC, 256- 638-4418 or 256-228-6001, ext. *2248. For information about NACC, contact the college’s website at

Pictured following the Breast Cancer Awareness presentation are (L-R) Kay Page, owner of MMI Breast Center PC of Scottsboro/speaker; Heather Rice, Director of Development at Northeast; Margaret Phillips, breast cancer survivor/speaker; and Susan Barron, Director of High School Relations and Event Planning at NACC.

Article written by and photo taken by Debra A. Barrentine, Director of Promotions and Marketing at NACC.