Michael D. Morrison

Mayor and City Council Show full Support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Recognizing the need for breast cancer awareness and early detection, Mayor .Mike Morrison proclaimed October to be "Mammography-Breast Cancer Month for the City of Waco." The mayor took this action because each year in the state of Texas 2,800 women die of breast cancer and more than 11,300 will be diagnosed.

However, with more effort focused on awareness and education, women will learn that breast cancer is almost 100 percent curable when detected early. Mayor Morrison is committed to increasing .awareness and education for all women .of the City of Waco.

Breast Cancer Screening for the Underserved

Under the leadership of Mayor Morrison and the Waco City Council, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District refers low-income women who have given birth to Planned Parenthood, which includes breast cancer screening in its .services. Low-income women who have never given birth are referred to the .Family Practice Center for primary care that includes screening for breast cancer.

Educating Women

Health district staff visited senior citizen centers in the county to educate senior women on early detection and education. The purpose was to let them know that beast cancer does not affect just young women; in fact, it affects older women more frequently than their younger counterparts.

Two additional presentations focused on specific aspects of breast cancer and were open to the general public as luncheon/ forums, underwritten by two pharma-.ceutical companies. Cosponsors of these .two events were: the American Cancer Society; Brazos Area Health Education Center; Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center; Providence Healthcare Network; and Waco-McLennan County Public Health District.

The first session focused on "Options After Surgery" with Carlos Encarnacion, M. D., as the featured speaker. Held at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, 44 women attended the luncheon and discussed their concerns. At the second .session, Robin Young, M.D., discussed "Multi-Cultural Risk Factors of Breast Cancer" with the 120 women who attended this luncheon at Providence Healthcare Network. These two forums were so successful that a similar event in early 2000 will address ovarian cancer.

The health district credits the high attendance at the luncheon/forums to advance advertising that included:

  • front-page notice in the "Upcoming Events" box of the local newspaper,

  • The Waco Tribune Herald ;

  • notices in the bulletins of African American churches; and

  • flyers widely disseminated throughout the community.

Gift Baskets

Community gift baskets were placed in strategic city and county facilities to spread awareness about breast cancer to Waco women and others visiting these sites. Each basket contained American Cancer Society literature on mammography, breast examinations, and fibrocystic breasts, a "shower" card on how to do breast self-exams, and the well-recognized pink ribbon pin. The literature was in both English and Spanish and was designed to target women across cultural lines.

Mall Kiosk

The management of a local shopping mall generously donated advertising space in a center kiosk in a prime pedestrian area for the month of October. Posters, gift baskets, and information on breast cancer awareness and early detection – all encouraging breast .cancer screening – were displayed.

Future Plans

Future plans for breast cancer awareness .for the City of Waco include:

  • low-cost mammograms;

  • pink wreath ceremony;

  • additional presentations on .breast cancer awareness and .early detection; and

  • future proclamations.

With Mayor Morrison’s support, .the City of Waco is striving for greater awareness, early detection, and increased screening for women.

For more information, please contact:

Tara Kimbell
Health Educator
Waco-McLennan County .Public Health District
telephone: 254/750-5493
fax: 254/750-5405


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