On October 27th, the College of Charleston School of Professional Studies co-sponsored the Pink Tea, an event hosted by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), a leading cancer advocacy organization. The Pink Tea is an annual event that recognizes breast cancer survivors and caregivers, while raising awareness of early detection and prevention methods. This year’s program focused on the realities of metastatic breast cancer, and marked the 25th anniversary of the Best Chance Network: South Carolina’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.
The Best Chance Network – a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control – offers free breast and cervical cancer screening to uninsured, income-eligible women aged 40 to 64. To date, the Best Chance Network has screened over 155,000 women and has helped to detect 1,143 invasive breast cancers. The Pink Tea recognized and honored the Best Chance Network providers in the Charleston area: a collection of more than 30 health centers and private practitioners.
In celebration of individuals who serve as caregivers, the Pink Tea honored the Martin family of South Carolina. Gail Martin Davis shared the story of her mother, a breast cancer survivor: diagnosed with the disease at 80, she underwent a radical double mastectomy, and lived to be 102 years of age. Eileen Fisher, a resident of Hilton Head, also shared her story, recalling her constant fight as a metastatic breast cancer survivor. Keynote speaker Dr. Antoinette Tan, Chief of Breast Oncology at the Levine Cancer Center (Charlotte, NC), spoke about the targeted drug therapies specific to metastatic breast cancer, and of the need for additional research.
The Pink Tea, which was co-sponsored by PhRMA and Phizer Pharmaceuticals, garnered donations in support of ACS CAN’s lobbying efforts at the federal and state levels. (Further donations may be made through ACSCAN.) Beth Johnson Cagle, ACS CAN SC Grassroots Manager, expressed her appreciation for the College of Charleston’s sponsorship: noting the helpful nature of the School of Professional Studies staff and the beauty of the North Campus facility.
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2015, 3,820 women in South Carolina will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Those interested in learning more about breast cancer screening are encouraged to seek out the resources provided by American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.