Almost 600 women gathered earlier this month for the fourth Live! Memphis Breast Cancer Summit, presented this year by the Memphis Breast Cancer Consortium (MBCC).
The annual event was conceived to educate African-American women about breast cancer and to encourage preventive measures to promote early detection, which often leads to a cure.
The summit was initially convened in 2015 by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. The university worked in collaboration with community groups that also had a desire to battle breast cancer in the African-American community. UTHSC served as the host and lead sponsor in 2015, and has been joined in the sponsoring role each following year by Baptist Cancer Center and West Cancer Center.
MBCC, a community partnership of the Common Table Health Alliance, took on presenter duties this year, working with UTHSC, Baptist and West. MBCC was launched to bring together organizations and individuals committed to the fight against breast cancer inequalities in the community,
“The Breast Cancer Summit 2018 was successful because more than 83 percent of the women who attended were between ages 40 and 64, the key focus of screening and early detection opportunities,” said Renee Frazier, MHSA, LFACHE, CEO Emeritus of the Commontable Health Alliance.
The 2018 theme for the event held at the G.E. Patterson Family Life Center downtown was “Live Love Learn.” Women of all ages were invited to enjoy a day of breast health workshops and onsite mammograms. They were also treated to a range of services, including massages, manicures, and pedicures.
Ken Brown, UTHSC’s executive vice chancellor and chief operations officer, was on hand to welcome the participants. He asked all in attendance to encourage others to get the mammograms that could save their lives. Dr. Brown also praised the partnerships that have emerged in the community’s fight against breast cancer. “It’s about friendship, it’s about partnership,” he said, adding that the university is proud to be a partner in the annual event, along with the other presenting institutions.
Attendees were treated to breakfast and lunch, a gift bag, and the opportunity to win prizes. Several national and local organizations were on hand distributing information about a host of topics related to health and wellness. A total of 36 mammograms were done by the mobile units onsite.
Action News 5 Anchor/Traffic Reporter Janeen Gordon gave an inspiring keynote address. Gordon is a two-time cancer survivor and an advocate for early detection.
“Her powerful and personal story moved us all,” Frazier said.