Oakland Press: October campaign brings breast cancer awareness, education

Sen. Mike Kowall

Sen. Mike Kowall

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

For women in Michigan, breast cancer is the most common newly diagnosed cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths.

In the United States, about one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lives, and this year, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed, along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.

As these numbers indicate, this dreadful disease is too common; nearly all of us in our lifetime will know someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

That is why here in the state and across the nation, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness and educate women regarding the disease.

An important tool in the fight is medical screening. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, breast cancer risk increases with age, and studies have shown that older women tend to be diagnosed with breast cancer more than younger women. When it comes to when to start screening and how often to screen, however, many experts say there is no one answer that suits all women, and national organizations have different recommendations.

Women over the age of 40 need to discuss screening with their health provider, including a discussion of their personal and family history. This will help providers assess the risk for developing breast cancer and to make screening recommendations based on the woman’s individual risk.

Factors that put women at a higher-than-average risk for breast cancer include:
• Increasing age;
• Personal history of breast cancer;
• Family history of breast cancer;
• Specific genetic mutations;
• Dense breast tissue;
• Never giving birth or having first pregnancy after age 30; and
• Starting menstruation at a young age.

With these factors in mind, it is vital for all women to know that early detection of breast cancer increases the effectiveness of available treatments.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation provides a free guide and checklist to detect breast cancer symptoms. Visit www.NationalBreastCancer.org/Breast-Cancer-Awareness-Month to download the guide and to learn more about the disease.

Also check out the Donate link at the site. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, your donation will help provide a mammogram to a woman in need.

Despite the sobering statistics, there is some good news. Death rates from the disease have decreased over time because of heightened awareness that’s led to increased screening and improved treatment options. And the number of breast cancer deaths and new diagnoses of breast cancer in Michigan are in decline.

This should encourage us all. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, may we continue to educate ourselves and others, support family and friends in the fight, and take the necessary steps as we work to eradicate this terrible disease.

This column appeared in the Oakland Press. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.

Spinal Column: October campaign brings breast cancer awareness, education

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

For women in Michigan, breast cancer is the most common newly diagnosed cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths.

In the United States, about one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lives, and this year, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed, along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.

As these numbers indicate, this dreadful disease is too common; nearly all of us in our lifetime will know someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

That is why here in the state and across the nation, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness and educate women regarding the disease.

An important tool in the fight is medical screening. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, breast cancer risk increases with age, and studies have shown that older women tend to be diagnosed with breast cancer more than younger women. When it comes to when to start screening and how often to screen, however, many experts say there is no one answer that suits all women, and national organizations have different recommendations.

Women over the age of 40 need to discuss screening with their health provider, including a discussion of their personal and family history. This will help providers assess the risk for developing breast cancer and to make screening recommendations based on the woman’s individual risk.

Factors that put women at a higher-than-average risk for breast cancer include:
• Increasing age;
• Personal history of breast cancer;
• Family history of breast cancer;
• Specific genetic mutations;
• Dense breast tissue;
• Never giving birth or having first pregnancy after age 30; and
• Starting menstruation at a young age.

With these factors in mind, it is vital for all women to know that early detection of breast cancer increases the effectiveness of available treatments.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation provides a free guide and checklist to detect breast cancer symptoms. Visit www.NationalBreastCancer.org/Breast-Cancer-Awareness-Month to download the guide and to learn more about the disease.

Also check out the Donate link at the site. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, your donation will help provide a mammogram to a woman in need.

Despite the sobering statistics, there is some good news. Death rates from the disease have decreased over time because of heightened awareness that’s led to increased screening and improved treatment options. And the number of breast cancer deaths and new diagnoses of breast cancer in Michigan are in decline.

This should encourage us all. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, may we continue to educate ourselves and others, support family and friends in the fight, and take the necessary steps as we work to eradicate this terrible disease.

This column first appeared in the Spinal Column newsweekly. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.

Reminder: Holly event on Saturday to honor Vietnam era veterans

Sen. Mike Kowall

Sen. Mike Kowall

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall, in conjunction with the Holly Moose Lodge 1168, the Agent Orange Justice Association, and special guest Congressman Mike Bishop, reminded residents on Wednesday that a formal Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony will be held this Saturday, Oct. 20 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

Kowall, R-White Lake, said the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” in Holly will give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam War era veterans and their families. He encourages all interested residents and veterans to join his representative at the event, Director of District and Veteran Affairs Lynn O’Brien, in paying tribute to the men and women who were too often forgotten when they returned home.

The senator said the event, made possible by the Holly Moose Lodge 1168, the Agent Orange Justice Association and the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Holly Moose Lodge 1168, 210 S. Broad St., Holly.

Contact Gregory Nealis at waynewn6@gmail.com or 248-904-3500 with any questions.

O’Brien will provide a Vietnam War Commemorative Lapel Pin to U.S. veterans who served on active duty at any time from Nov. 1, 1955 – May 15, 1975, regardless of location.

Information regarding the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration can be found at www.vietnamwar50th.com.

Save the Date: Kowall announces Holly event honoring Vietnam era veterans

Sen. Mike Kowall

Sen. Mike Kowall

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall and the Holly Moose Lodge 1168, in conjunction with the Agent Orange Justice Association, on Tuesday announced that a formal Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony will be held on Saturday, Oct. 20 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

Kowall, R-White Lake, said the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” in Holly will give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam War era veterans and their families. He encourages all interested residents and veterans to join his representative at the event, Director of District and Veteran Affairs Lynn O’Brien, in paying tribute to the men and women who were too often forgotten when they returned home.

The event, made possible in part by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Holly Moose Lodge 1168, 210 S. Broad St., Holly.

Kowall said to contact Gregory Nealis at waynewn6@gmail.com or 248-904-3500 with any questions.

O’Brien will provide a Vietnam War Commemorative Lapel Pin to U.S. veterans who served on active duty at any time from Nov. 1, 1955 – May 15, 1975, regardless of location.

Kowall encourages members of all wars/conflicts to attend in support of the Vietnam Veterans receiving a lapel pin. The symbolism attached to the lapel pin is significant, Kowall said.

“The Commemoration honors all Vietnam veterans, whether they served in-country, in-theater, or were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War period,” he said. “All were called to serve and the overwhelming majority of these veterans served honorably and admirably.”

U.S. Army and Vietnam veteran Joe Mishler will be the master of ceremonies and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5587 Color Guard will post the colors. The guest speaker will be Lori Weber, member of the Children of Vietnam Veteran Health Alliance.

In addition, Joanna Lauren, daughter of a Vietnam era veteran, will perform the national anthem and lead attendees in a God Bless America singalong; entertainment will be provided by Michibillys Band; and the Holly Moose Lodge will provide a light lunch for attendees.

The Commemoration was authorized by Congress and established under the secretary of defense, and then formally launched in 2012. It was designed to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families in hometown America, in light of the 50th anniversary of the war. Recognition is given to these heroes when commemorative partners, such as Kowall, hold events for the veterans and their families.

“Michigan’s Vietnam veterans, whether drafted or enlisted, served our country with honor. Tragically, too many returned home with little thanks for their service and not much help transitioning to civilian life,” Kowall said. “This ceremony is a way to recognize veterans of the Vietnam War era and their families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of a grateful nation and the Michigan Legislature.”

Kowall has held numerous events, in both Lansing and throughout the state. The ceremonies are held in a variety of locations, including VFW/American Legion posts, veteran memorial parks and banquet halls. Kowall often partners with the senator of the district where the event is being held.

Information regarding the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration can be found at www.vietnamwar50th.com.