WESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Lewis County commission held its Sept. 27 meeting at 10 a.m. in its office, where it later proclaimed a month and day dedicated to breast cancer awareness.

All officials and community members in attendance started with the pledge of allegiance, which then kicked off the reading of the proclamation at 10:10 a.m.

Commissioners Rod Wyman and Bobby Stewart, along with President Agnes Queen, read the proclamation that included many breast cancer statistics, and information about how women and men can detect the signs early on and how often they should get a mammogram, breast exams or talk to their healthcare provider.

Queen finally proclaimed Oct. 11, 2022, as Breast Cancer Awareness Day and October 2022 as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in recognition of the important lifesaving early detection practices available.

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2022, more than 2,700 men are diagnosed with breast cancer, and each year approximately 530 of them die from the disease; while 287,850 women will be diagnosed and 43,250 will die. In West Virginia specifically, hundreds of women will be diagnosed and approximately 300 will die from this disease. This disease continues to be the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women in West Virginia. Julia Spelsberg, Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital marketing and communications outreach, mentioned that in her lifetime, she has watched the numbers go from women having about a “one in 10 chance of developing breast cancer,” to now a one in eight chance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a ton of basic information on breast cancer. You can learn what it is, the symptoms, risk factors and what kind of tests are done to diagnose breast cancer.

Some of the warnings are:

  • New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
  • Pulling in the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
  • Any change in the size or shape of the breast.
  • Pain in any area of the breast.

If you feel that you may have symptoms of breast cancer, please reach out to your healthcare provider as quickly as possible.

Spelsberg said she believes it is very important to spread awareness and get the message out, because if they can save one life, it is worth it.

“When you have personal experiences, when you know people that have gone through breast cancer, it brings it home, you know?” Spelsberg said. “When you’re younger, you don’t think about that, but as like, my age, when you get older, you know more and more people. And just the idea of helping someone, making sure they’re screened, letting people know what services we offer. It’s just important to get the message out.”

Mon Health Stonewall Jackson and Lewis County CEOS clubs will be hosting their “28th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon” on Oct. 11 at noon It will be located at Broad Street United Methodist Church in Weston. They ask that if you are interested in attending, please RSVP by Oct. 5 by calling the WVU Extension Office at 304-269-4660. The luncheon will include additional information on breast cancer awareness.