October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and state libraries taking part in PA Forward, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Library Association, are going pink in an effort to raise awareness and promote early detection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is second to melanoma skin cancer in leading causes of death for women. The number of breast cancer deaths among women was 40,676 in the United States in 2009. (U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group).
Libraries throughout Pennsylvania play an important role in helping citizens actively manage their own well-being, thus making them effective partners with their healthcare providers. For many, a library is the first stop after receiving a diagnosis from their doctor.
The James V. Brown Library maintains a strong collection of health information, including medical manuals, coping guides, memoirs of survivors, and access to current medical research and data.
The Brown Library also offers free access to online sites such as the Mayo Clinic, Susan G. Komen Foundation, American Cancer Society and the U.S. National Library of Medicine for up-to-date research and statistics.
Consumer Health provides articles, research reports and drug information, as well as alternative solutions.
Libraries are the connectors between people and information. When facing a diagnosis, facts and research from reliable sources can be comforting. The Brown Library has quality materials and resources to help patients make informed decisions about their healthcare.
Although National Breast Cancer Awareness Month started more than 25 years ago, much is still needed to be done to help fight the disease.
For more information on PA Forward, visit www.paforward.org.
Source: U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999-2009 Incidence and Mortality We-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2013. Available at www.cdc.gov/uscs.