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Paint Port Pink

Paint Port Pink, Mather Hospital’s annual month-long breast cancer community awareness outreach, kicks off Sunday, October 1 with the lighting of pink lights by community partners in Port Jefferson, Port Jefferson Station, and surrounding communities. Paint Port Pink’s goal is to raise awareness about breast cancer, encourage annual mammograms, and bring the community together to fight this disease.

Lamp posts along Main Street in Port Jefferson will glow with pink lights, along with the Theatre Three marquee and many store windows. Many related events will be held throughout the month.

“Pints for Pink,” hosted by Po’Boy Brewery, 200 Wilson Street in Port Jefferson, returns on Thursday, Oct. 5 to celebrate the survivors and educate the community. Attendees can sample craft beers and ciders while receiving health information. The $25 fee includes registration for the 2024 Northwell Health Walk at Port Jefferson. Proceeds support the 2024 Walk for the benefit of the Fortunato Breast Health Center at Mather Hospital. Register at matherhospital.org/pints-for-pink.

Decorate your business window for a chance to win tickets to a 2024 concert at Jones Beach. Send photos of your window by Sunday, October 15 to [email protected]. 

The EmpowerHER: Navigating Women’s Wellness symposium on Thursday, Oct. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Port Jefferson Village Center, 101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson features a panel of Mather physicians discussing different aspects of women’s health and well being. Co-sponsored by Decision Women in Commerce and Professions, the $20 admission fee includes the symposium, a buffet dinner, a glass of wine and registration for the 2024 Northwell Health Walk at Port Jefferson. Register at matherhospital.org/EmpowerHer.

Friday, October 20 is Wear Pink Day/National Mammography Day and everyone — including your pets — are encouraged to get their pink on. Post photos on social media with #paintportpink and send them to [email protected] to be posted on the hospital’s Facebook page.

You could win a $100 gift card for best pumpkin.
Photo from Mather Hospital

The ever popular “Pink Your Pumpkin” contest returns and encourages everyone to get creative with their pumpkins for a cause. Photos should be emailed to [email protected] by Tuesday,  Oct. 24 and posted on social media with #paintportpink. The winner will receive a $100 gift card.

A full calendar of events and a list of Paint Port Pink community partners offering promotions to benefit The Fortunato Breast Health Center is available at www.paintportpink.org. Call 631-476-2723.

Paint Port Pink is sponsored by Decision Women in Commerce and Professions, Riverhead Toyota, Lippencott Financial Group, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, Precision Lawn Irrigation, Po’ Boy Brewery and Tuscany Gourmet Market.

Five things everyone should know about breast health

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the U.S., except for skin cancers, representing about 30 percent (or one in three) of all new female cancers each year. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the U.S. after lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Every two minutes someone is newly diagnosed with invasive breast cancer according to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Only one in three women over 40 have an annual mammogram.

“It is important to maintain breast health and the easiest way to do that is to obtain your annual screening mammogram,” said Lan Chan, MD, radiologist at Mather Hospital’s Fortunato Breast Health Center. “You should not ignore your breasts just because there is no family history of breast cancer. In fact, three out of four women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of breast cancer.”

According to Dr. Chan, five things everyone should know about breast health are:

1. Major health organizations including the American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging recommend starting screening mammography at age 40. 

The ACS reports that the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer in her life is about one in eight. That is why increased awareness, education and early detection are important parts of breast health care. A mammogram can reveal a tumor as much as two years before you or your healthcare professional can feel it. That’s why it’s important to schedule your mammogram. 

2. Obesity has been linked to breast cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight can decrease the risk of breast cancer. 

Having more fat tissue can increase your chance of getting breast cancer by raising estrogen levels, according to the ACS. Also, women who are overweight tend to have higher levels of insulin, which have been linked to some cancers, including breast cancer.

3. Breastfeeding has health benefits for mothers. It has been shown that breastfeeding decreases the risk of breast cancer. Many studies suggest that breastfeeding for a year or more slightly reduces a woman’s overall risk of breast cancer, with longer duration associated with greater reduction, according to the ACS.

4. Women at high risk for breast cancer can obtain supplementary screening MRI as another form of imaging to detect breast cancer. 

5. Men should not ignore lumps on their chest. Men can also develop breast cancer.

The ACS notes that while breast cancer occurs mainly in women, men can get it, too. Men have breast tissue and can develop breast cancer. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer and can spread to other areas. The American Cancer Society estimates for men in the United States for 2023 about 2,800 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed and about 530 men will die from breast cancer

Schedule a mammogram

The Fortunato Breast Health Center at Mather Hospital, 75 North Country Road, Port Jefferson uses state-of-the-art breast imaging technology in a warm and assuring environment with a commitment to giving you personalized breast healthcare. 

Their staff of professionals provides 3D mammograms and offers individualized follow-up care, education for patients, families, and the community, as well as breast cancer support groups. 

Their Breast Center radiologists are specialists who only read breast imaging studies and look back as far as possible at your history of breast images for any subtle changes or abnormalities to provide the most accurate reading.

The Breast Health Center has also partnered with the Suffolk Cancer Services Program (CSP) to provide free breast cancer screenings to individuals who qualify. The CSP provides breast cancer screenings to women age 40 and older without health insurance in Suffolk. If any follow-up testing is needed, the CSP will provide those tests too. If cancer is found, CSP will help enroll people who are eligible in the NYS Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program for full Medicaid coverage during treatment. 

To find out if you are eligible for free screenings or to schedule your annual mammogram, call 631-476-2771. 

 

Stu Vincent, director of public affairs and public relations at Mather Hospital, has also made a name for himself within the Port Jeff business community.

As 1st vice president of the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, Vincent has emerged as an important local figure and leader. He has been active in chamber events, including overseeing its annual Health & Wellness Fest. 

Barbara Ransome, GPJCC director of operations, characterized his role as chair of this festival. “That is a very important event that we are involved in because it is a strong revenue-producing event,” she said. 

Ransome maintains that Vincent, as 1st VP, acts as a close adviser, referring to his public relations expertise as a helpful springboard for different ideas. To her, Vincent is a warm presence within the chamber and a reliable attendee of chamber events. 

“That particular skill set is very important, certainly for a chamber of commerce, and I look for his expertise on certain matters that pertain to that,” Ransome said.

With Mather, Vincent has had considerable influence in the hospital’s Paint Port Pink campaign. Through the Fortunato Breast Health Center at Mather Hospital, this initiative raises awareness about breast cancer, shares information and brings the community together. The bright pink lights streaming through the village in October are a staple of the campaign.

Mayor Margot Garant considered Vincent a dedicated community servant and a positive force for the Port Jeff community.

“He’s at every single event, a strong member and volunteer of the chamber, so he’s definitely a dedicated servant and a very good employee,” she said. “I think he makes an excellent face of the hospital, and he’s just a swell guy — kind of a quiet soldier.”

That quiet soldier continues to leave his mark on the Port Jeff community. For his sterling work on behalf of the chamber and Mather Hospital, TBR News Media recognizes Vincent as a 2022 Person of
the Year.

Paint Port Pink, Mather Hospital’s annual month-long breast cancer community awareness outreach, kicked off Oct. 1 with the lighting of pink lights by community partners in Port Jefferson, Port Jefferson Station, and surrounding communities. Lamp posts along Main Street in Port Jefferson are aglow with pink lights, along with the Theatre Three marquee and many store windows.

Paint Port Pink’s goal is to raise awareness about breast cancer, encourage annual mammograms, and bring the community together to fight this disease.

A pink pumpkin by Kathleen Fusaro.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the U.S., except for skin cancers, representing about 30 percent (or one in three) of all new female cancers each year. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the U.S. after lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Every two minutes someone is newly diagnosed with invasive breast cancer (Breast Cancer Research Foundation).Only one in three women over 40 have an annual mammogram. 

Paint Port Pink will feature a special HealthyU webinar on Women’s Health on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at noon. Three physicians will talk about breast cancer, menopause, and mental health during the pandemic. Register at matherhospital.org/healthyu 

Oct. 14 is “Wear Pink Day” and everyone — and their pets — are encouraged to get their pink on to raise awareness. Post photos on social media with #paintportpink and send them to [email protected] to be posted on our Facebook page.

Decorate your business window for a chance to win tickets to a 2023 concert at Jones Beach. Send photos of your window by Oct. 20 to [email protected]

The event’s popular “Pink Your Pumpkin” contest returns and encourages everyone to get creative with their pumpkins for a cause. Photos should be emailed to [email protected] by Oct. 24 and posted on social media with #paintportpink. The winner will be chosen Oct. 25 and will receive a $100 gift card. 

Paint Port Pink community sponsors include New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, Lippencott Financial Group, Riverhead Toyota, and Accelerated Services Inc., Po’ Boy Brewery , Tuscany Gourmet Market, Bohemia Garden Center, Brookhaven Expeditors, C. Tech Collections,  Michael R. Sceiford  Financial Advisor/ Edward Jones, PAP Landscape and Design, Inc., Precision Lawn Irrigation, and Swim King Pools and Patios.

A full calendar of events and a list of Paint Port Pink community partners offering promotions to benefit The Fortunato Breast Health Center is available at www.paintportpink.org. Call 631-476-2723

From despair to hope: A breast cancer survivor’s story

By Jennifer Van Trettner

Jennifer Van Trettner

It was late Friday morning on a cool December day when my phone rang. It was the (Fortunato) Breast Center calling about my routine mammogram that I had two days prior. I took a deep breath and hesitantly answered the phone. Marianne, the nurse on the other end, introduced herself and told me in a kind, warm voice that the doctor saw something of concern on my imaging and asked if I could come in for a biopsy within the hour. I said yes before I even had time to exhale.

I drove to the Breast Center alone. All sorts of thoughts were running through my head. Shortly after arrival, I was escorted to the sonogram area by a friendly woman and was given a warm gown. I undressed, wrapped myself in the warm, pink gown, and sat in the waiting room. 

A few minutes later, I was called into the sonogram room. The technician, whom I had met on several occasions, was lovely. The doctor was the same one who did my last biopsy. She explained to me that six tissue samples would be taken from my left breast. 

On Tuesday, December 21, 2021, the Breast Center called. I felt my heart plummet into my stomach and knew my life was about to change forever. As if in slow motion, I answered the call. If I close my eyes, I can still hear Marianne’s voice saying they received my biopsy results and asking if I could come to the breast center that day. This time I didn’t want to go alone. My mother-in-law, a breast cancer survivor, went with me (my mother, also a breast cancer survivor, lives in Georgia). 

With masks on, we walked into the Breast Center and were immediately brought into the office. It was warm and inviting. The doctor came in, introduced herself to my mother-in-law and sat in a chair at the end of the desk, almost directly in front of me. I could feel my eyes welling with tears.

I was told my biopsy was positive for IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) breast cancer. It was stage 1, estrogen positive, and Her2+. Relatively speaking, it was a good scenario. Marianne held up a pretty, clear box of pearls ranging from 2mm up to 20mm. She took out a 10mm pearl, placed it in my hand and told me this was the approximate size of my cancer. As I held the pearl in my hand, I thought what a nice, kind, warm, and non-scary way to confirm a woman’s fear.

Marianne, having years of my personal information in front of her, explained how she already called and made appointments with the doctors I would need to see. 

I called my mom from the office. I really needed to hear her voice. I asked her to get dad and put the phone on speaker. Telling my parents, from hundreds of miles away, their eldest daughter had breast cancer was not easy. I found myself standing at the entrance to a new path, and I wasn’t quite sure how to take the first step. One thing I knew for sure was that I wouldn’t have to take the first step alone. After hanging up with my parents, I was escorted to have an MRI. A few hours later and completely emotionally exhausted, we headed home.

On the morning of December 30, 2021, I saw my surgeon who would remove the cancer and sentinel lymph nodes. In the afternoon I saw the oncologist who had done genetic testing on me two years earlier (all of which were negative). He explained my cancer and the treatment it would require. I would need 12 weeks of chemotherapy and Herceptin infusions once a week for three to seven hours followed by an additional 13 Herceptin infusions every three weeks. Once those were finished (anticipated finish date: 2/8/23), I would need 10 years of Tamoxifen. The same evening, I had a PET scan. Thankfully, there were no surprises.

I started to tell family, friends, and colleagues of my diagnosis. I was immediately touched by the outpouring of love and concern. Helpful gifts began to arrive. The best gifts of all were the arrival of my parents a few days prior to surgery. 

My surgery at Mather Hospital was scheduled for January 25, 2022, which at the time of diagnosis felt like years away. In the back of my head was a little voice wondering if my aggressive cancer would get larger and spread during those weeks of waiting. I started an online journal and invited those closest to me to follow. 

The warrior in me began to take charge of my treatment, familiarize myself with my cancer, mastectomy options, implant options, and read from cover to cover the amazing book the breast center gave me at time of diagnosis. I reviewed all possible side effects. After that I never looked back. 

On the day of surgery, I arrived at the hospital anxious, nervous, and prayed that waking up after surgery was God’s will. I worried about what would happen to my husband and adult children if I didn’t. 

I  was brought into a large operating room. I fell asleep within seconds of speaking to the anesthesiologist and woke up seven hours later in recovery. The nurses were wonderful. Two of my former students, now nurses working the night shift, visited me bringing with them my favorite sweets, Swedish fish. Seeing familiar, friendly faces that night made my heart happy

Since my surgery, life has had many challenges. The first two weeks post-surgery I spent on the couch with my parents taking care of all household things while my husband went to work. April 14th, I tested positive for COVID, which set me back a week in treatment. Thankfully my oncologist prescribed an antiviral. It helped with my recovery and got me back on track with the infusions.

Treatments began with inserting the IV needle, blood work, Herceptin, a bag of Zofran, a bag of Benadryl and lastly chemo. By treatment six, my hair was very thin, so I decided to take control and shave what was left. The last day of chemo was May 21st, and on May 28th, I began my tri-weekly Herceptin infusions.

Throughout this journey, I have posted consistently on social media. I was born a teacher, and as such I felt it important to share my journey with anyone who wanted to follow. I believe it’s important for me to show my strengths and weaknesses, to be real, raw, and honest. This is a club no one wants to join. In the United States breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women, and on Long Island it’s 1 in 6. I had a support system like no other to help me get through this.

Schedule a mammogram today!

The Fortunato Breast Health Center at Mather Hospital, 75 North Country Road, Port Jefferson uses state-of-the-art breast imaging technology in a warm and assuring environment with a commitment to giving you personalized breast healthcare. 

Their staff of professionals provides 3D mammograms and offers individualized follow-up care, education for patients, families, and the community, as well as breast cancer support groups. 

Their Breast Center radiologists are specialists who only read breast imaging studies and look back as far as possible at your history of breast images for any subtle changes or abnormalities to provide the most accurate reading.

The Breast Health Center has also partnered with the Suffolk Cancer Services Program (CSP) to provide free breast cancer screenings to individuals who qualify. The CSP provides breast cancer screenings to women age 40 and older without health insurance in Suffolk. If any follow-up testing is needed, the CSP will provide those tests too. If cancer is found, CSP will help enroll people who are eligible in the NYS Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program for full Medicaid coverage during treatment. 

To find out if you are eligible for free screenings or to schedule your annual mammogram, call 631-476-2771. 

All photos courtesy of Mather Hospital.

 

Photo by Julianne Mosher

Mather Hospital’s annual month-long breast cancer awareness community outreach event, Paint Port Pink, kicked off this week in Port Jefferson village. 

Pink lights were lit on Oct. 1 across the village and throughout surrounding communities to honor and raise awareness for breast cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

Several dozen local businesses are participating, adding the sparkling lights to their storefronts, windows and doors. 

Lamp posts along main street in Port Jefferson shine bright pink with the goal to raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection, encourage annual mammograms and bring the community together to help fight this disease.

One in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime, according to Mather Hospital. In 2021, an estimated 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 49,290 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. 

About 2,650 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2021. 

As of January 2021, there were more than 3.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment. 

Oct. 15 is Wear Pink Day, and people are encouraged to dress themselves — and their pets — in pink and post their photos on social media with #paintportpink. 

Then send those photos to [email protected] they will be included in a collage on the hospital’s Facebook page.

Paint Port Pink, Mather Hospital’s annual month-long breast cancer awareness community outreach, kicks off on Oct. 1 with a lighting of pink lights by community partners in Port Jefferson, Port Jefferson Station and the surrounding communities. Lamp posts along main street in Port Jefferson will be lit up with pink lights, as will the Theatre Three marquee and many store windows.

Paint Port Pink’s goal is to raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection, encourage annual mammograms and bring the community together to help fight this disease.

One in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. In 2021, an estimated 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 49,290 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. About 2,650 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2021. As of January 2021, there are more than 3.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment. 

Mather Hospital’s HealthyU webinar series will present two free educational programs — The Role of Genetics in Breast Cancer on Tuesday, Oct. 5, and Common Breast Cancer Myths and Screening Options on Tuesday Oct. 12. Both webinars begin at noon. Register for these webinars at matherhospital.org/healthyu.

Oct. 15 is Wear Pink Day, and everyone is encouraged to dress themselves — and their pets — in pink and post their photos on social media with #paintportpink. Then send those photos to [email protected] and they will be included in a collage on the hospital’s Facebook page.

The popular Pink Your Pumpkin Contest returns this October. Get creative and post photos of “pinked” pumpkins on social media with #paintportpink. Send those photos to [email protected] by Oct. 25 for the contest. The winner will be chosen Oct. 26 and will receive a $100 gift card. 

Paint Port Pink community sponsors will again be offering special promotions to raise money for the Fortunato Breast Health Center’s Fund for Uninsured. Redefine Fitness, 5507 Nesconset Hwy #2, Mt Sinai, will host a fitness class on Oct. 24, from 10 to 11 a.m., for $20 per person. Month long promotions include Fedora Lounge (404 Main St, Port Jefferson) offering pink hair extensions — $15 for one, $25 for two. The Soap Box (18 Chandler Square, Port Jefferson) will donate 10 percent of sales of all pink products on display at the main counter. And Chick-fil-A, 5184 Nesconset Hwy, Port Jefferson Station will donate 10 percent of sales on strawberry milkshakes. More information on these and other promotions can be found at www.paintportpink.org 

A complete calendar of events, more promotions and a list of Paint Port Pink community partners is available at www.paintportpink.org. For more informaton, call 631-476-2723.

Schedule a mammogram

The Fortunato Breast Health Center at Mather Hospital, 75 North Country Road, Port Jefferson uses state-of-the-art breast imaging technology in a warm and assuring environment with a commitment to giving you personalized breast healthcare. 

Their staff of professionals provides 3D mammograms and offers individualized follow-up care, education for patients, families, and the community, as well as breast cancer support groups. 

Their Breast Center radiologists are specialists who only read breast imaging studies and look back as far as possible at your history of breast images for any subtle changes or abnormalities to provide the most accurate reading.

The Breast Health Center has also partnered with the Suffolk Cancer Services Program (CSP) to provide free breast cancer screenings to individuals who qualify. The CSP provides breast cancer screenings to women age 40 and older without health insurance in Suffolk. If any follow-up testing is needed, the CSP will provide those tests too. If cancer is found, CSP will help enroll people who are eligible in the NYS Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program for full Medicaid coverage during treatment. 

Patients can find out if they are eligible for free screenings or schedule your annual mammogram by calling 631-476-2771. 

 

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Patients arriving at the Fortunato Breast Health Center use sanitizing gel before being given a mask and having their temperature taken.

Early detection is crucial in diagnosing and treating breast cancer. But screenings in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic have become more complicated, with many screening centers closing for a time and patients fearful to come into a hospital or clinic setting. Mather Hospital’s Fortunato Breast Health Center has responded with strict safety protocols designed to protect patients and staff.

Above, patients are socially distanced from Fortunato Breast Health Center staff when checking in for a screening.

“As always with breast cancer and other cancers, your best bet is to have an early diagnosis,” said Breast Center Co-Medical Director Michelle Price, MD. “The importance of early detection cannot be overstated. Therefore, we have adapted protocols so that we can continue to provide expert care in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Breast Center recommends that women receive their first screening mammography at age 40 and continue annual screening every year thereafter. Many professional societies involved with the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer also continue to recommend annual screening mammography starting at age 40, including the Society for Breast Imaging, American College of Radiology and National Comprehensive Cancer Network. In some high-risk situations, screening may begin even earlier.

Strict safety protocols have been implemented at the Breast Center in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Price said this includes all staff and patients wearing masks at all times, everyone undergoing temperature checks when they arrive at the Breast Center, patients completing a COVID screening questionnaire about possible exposure to the virus, and the use of sanitizing gel.

“We no longer routinely have patients use waiting rooms, to minimize personal interactions,” said Dr. Price. “When patients arrive, they first call from their car, and are brought in one at a time for a streamlined experience.”

Where patients once routinely filled out a medical history form to provide information, the technologist now interviews the patient and records the pertinent data. This change eliminates the need for patients to handle a pen and paper.

Fortunato Breast Health Center Co-Medical Directors Michelle Price, MD, and Joseph Carrucciu, MD, with a 3D mammography unit in a photo taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have a socially distant protocol where the patient has very limited contact with anyone else, providing maximal safety. The technologist brings the patient to the mammography room, where she is provided a gown to change in to privately. When ready, the technologist enters the room and performs the mammogram. When the study is complete, the patient is again given privacy to get dressed, and she is escorted out of the department by the technologist. As has always been the case, the imaging equipment is thoroughly disinfected between patients. People seem very satisfied with what we have done from the point of safety protocols. It’s a similar setup they’ve experienced at other doctors’ offices,” said Dr. Price who stressed the importance of continuing with annual mammograms despite the pandemic.

“Early in the pandemic, non-urgent medical care was postponed, but now the situation has changed,” she said. “The current consensus is that screening should continue if it can be done safely. We have implemented protocols to maximize safety for patients and staff alike. Early detection of breast cancer offers us the best chance for successful treatment.”

The Fortunato Breast Center uses advanced 3D mammography that is designed to make screening more comfortable. The 3D mammography also offers sharper, clearer images for improved diagnostic accuracy all while providing the lowest radiation dose of all FDA approved mammography systems.

Fortunato Breast Center radiologists are specialists who only read breast imaging studies and look back as far as possible at a patient’s history of breast images for any subtle changes or abnormalities in order to provide the most accurate reading.

Should a patient have a breast cancer diagnosis, the Breast Center’s compassionate nurse navigators provide personal guidance with scheduling appointments for tests and follow-up procedures, getting prescriptions, insurance questions, and any other help patients may need. The Breast Center’s nurse navigators provide support throughout every step of the patients’ journey to recovery.

The Breast Center offers no cost or discounted mammography screenings for those individuals with low income and no health insurance. For more information, visit www. matherhospital.org/breasthealth or call 631-476-2771.

All photos courtesy of Mather Hospital

Above, employees at Mather Hospital taking part in last year's Wear Pink Day. Photo from Mather Hospital

And then there was light. Paint Port Pink, Mather Hospital’s annual breast cancer awareness campaign will kick off today, Oct.1, with the lighting of pink lights throughout the Village of Port Jefferson and in Port Jefferson Station. The month-long breast health outreach by Mather’s Fortunato Breast Health Center raises awareness, provides educational information and fosters solidarity in the community.

This year’s campaign, sponsored by New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, will join with its annual fundraising event Families Walk for Hope, which supports the Fortunato Breast Health Center. The Walk, a five-mile breast cancer fundraiser held the first Saturday in May, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is now taking place virtually through the end of October. The Walk this year will benefit the Fortunato Breast Health Center and Mather’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. As a thank you and a reminder to wear a mask, anyone donating $10 or more to the Walk will receive a handmade mask. Register at www.familieswalkforhope.org

New this year is a Virtual Paint Night, hosted by Mather’s 2 South oncology and medical/surgical unit. Register at www.matherhospital.org/paintnight Also new is a “Mask-querade” mask decorating contest. Participants are asked to “pink” their masks and send photos to [email protected] by Oct. 20, as well as  posting on social media with the #paintportpink. The winner will be selected on Oct. 21 and receive a $100 gift card.

The hospital’s HealthyU webinar series will present four webinars on breast cancer each Tuesday in October from noon to 1 p.m. The series will look at diagnosis, treatment, surgery and breast reconstruction. Register for these webinars at www.matherhopsital.org/healthyu.

Returning this year is the Pink Your Pumpkin contest. Photos of “pinked” pumpkins can also be emailed to [email protected] by Oct. 20 and posted on social media with #paintportpink. The winner will be chosen on Oct. 21 and will receive a $100 gift card.

Paint your pumpkins pink for breast cancer awareness month.

Wear Pink Day takes place virtually on Friday, Oct. 16. Community members are urged to dress in pink in support of breast cancer awareness and post selfies on social media with #paintportpink. Photos can also be mailed to [email protected] to be included in a collage on Mather’s Facebook page. Don’t have anything pink to wear? Register for the Families Walk for Hope and receive an official pink t-shirt that can be used for your selfie.

The Port Jefferson Free Library celebrates Paint Port Pink with a Cherry Blossom Lantern workshop on Thursday, October 15, from 3 to 4 p.m. Participants will be guided step by step to paint their own lantern in a beautiful cherry blossom pattern. Register at https://tinyurl.com/cherryblossomlanterns.

A calendar of events and a list of Paint Port Pink community partners offering promotions to benefit the Fortunato Breast Health Center’s Fund for Uninsured is at www.matherhospital.org/pink. Register for the Families Walk for Hope at www.familieswalkforhope.org Call 631-476-2723 for more information.

Many businesses in the area will decorate their windows in support like the Cutting Hut in Port Jefferson Station.

Paint Port Pink, Mather Hospital’s annual breast cancer awareness campaign, returns this year with a full calendar of events. The month-long breast health outreach by Mather’s Fortunato Breast Health Center raises awareness, provides educational information and fosters solidarity in the community.

Paint Port Pink begins Tuesday, Oct. 1 with a Turn on Your Lights event for local community partners and residents, who turn on pink lights that were distributed by the hospital along with flags and information on breast health. Many community partners decorate their display windows with a pink theme and Mather recognizes the best efforts through their annual window decorating contest.

Mather Hospital employees dressed in pink during last year’s event.

New this year is Ladies Night Out at Comsewogue Public Library on Wednesday, Oct. 2, designed to celebrate women’s health by combining fun activities with wellness information. Participants can attend a mini-paint night, make their own body scrubs and get a back and neck massage by Mather-affiliated chiropractors. They can also learn about breast health from the Fortunato Breast Health Center’s Co-Medical Director Dr. Michelle Price, participate in a Reiki circle and get information on good nutrition for women from a Mather registered dietitian and sample healthy smoothies.

The Pink Your Pumpkin contest also returns this year. The contest asks participants to visit a local farm stand or craft store and find the perfect pumpkin, use their imagination to decorate it, and then submit a photo to [email protected] before Oct. 20. The top three winners will be selected by employee leaders at Mather Hospital on Oct. 21, and the results will be posted on Mather’s Facebook page.

Wear Pink Day is Oct. 18 – which is World Mammography Day – when Mather employees and community residents are encouraged to dress in pink and post their photos at #paintportpink.

Paint Port Pink community partners will again offer special promotions and fundraisers for the Fortunato Breast Health Center’s Fund for Uninsured, which offers no-cost or discounted mammography screenings to those with little or no insurance. These include Kilwin’s, Panera Bread, Chick-fil-A, Amazing Olive and Ethan Allen Furniture, Setauket.

The fall semester of HealthyU, Mather’s seminar series and exhibit fair, is on Saturday, Oct. 26. The day will feature many informative seminars including Women and Heart Health, the Brittle Bones of Osteoporosis, a Checklist for Health after 60, Tax Tips for Seniors and Staying Young Forever. Register for this free event at https://www.matherhospital.org/healthyu-registration/.

For more information about Paint Port Pink, please call 631-476-2723 or visit www.matherhospital.org/pink.

Photos from Mather Hospital

Many businesses in the Village of Port Jefferson and Port Jefferson Station will be ‘dressed in pink’ throughout the month of October.

Pink pumpkins, chocolate nights and yoga classes will be part of this year’s Paint Port Pink, Mather Hospital’s month-long October breast cancer awareness community outreach in Port Jefferson and Port Jefferson Station. The event was created in 2015 to raise awareness about the disease, share information and education and foster solidarity in the community.

Employees at Mather Hospital will celebrate Wear Pink Day on Oct. 9.

New this year are Pink Your Pumpkin and Pink Your Windows contests and chocolate-making classes. It Takes a Village Wellness will offer yoga classes with a portion of the registration fees going to the Fortunato Breast Health Center’s Fund for Uninsured and Underinsured. 

Paint Port Pink begins on Oct. 1 with Turn Your Pink Lights On!, when local merchants and residents will be asked to light up Port Jefferson and Port Jefferson Station. On Wear Pink Day, Oct. 9, Mather employees and community residents will be encouraged to dress in pink and to post their photos on Facebook and Instagram using #paintportpink. 

Local residents and merchants can Pink Their Pumpkins and Pink Their Windows in contests designed to raise awareness about breast cancer. Month-long promotions by local businesses will raise funds for the Fund for Uninsured and Underinsured. Mather has teamed up with about 120 local community partners — businesses and professional offices — to help spread the word about the importance of breast health.

Mammograms can help save lives

The American Cancer Society reports that the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer in her life is about one in eight. That is why increased awareness, education and early detection are important parts of breast health care.

Fortunato Breast Health Center co-medical directors Dr. Michele Price and Dr. Joseph Carrucciu.

A mammogram can reveal a tumor as much as two years before you or your health care professional can feel it. Following the American College of Radiology guidelines, the Fortunato Breast Health Center recommends that you get annual mammography screening starting at age 40. In some higher risk situations, earlier mammography screening or additional breast imaging studies, such as ultrasound, may be recommended. To make an appointment, call 631-476-2771, ext. 1.

If you are uninsured or underinsured, you may be eligible for no cost or discounted screenings through the center’s Fund for Uninsured and Underinsured. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and need financial assistance, contact Pink Aid at www.pinkaid.org.

Women receiving their annual mammograms will now have even more accurate screenings thanks to two new state-of-the-art 3-D mammography units at the Fortunato Breast Health Center. Advances in imaging technology deliver highly detailed images that enhance a radiologist’s ability to provide accurate diagnoses. Improvements in ergonomic design allow for improved patient comfort and relaxation. The units also protect patients by delivering the lowest radiation dose of all FDA approved 3-D mammography systems.

“The mammographic images are very clear and detailed, which helps us to identify abnormalities at the smallest possible size,” says Dr. Michelle Price, co-medical director of the breast center. 

Above, one of the new 3-D mamography units at Mather Hospital

The new devices allow for improved detection rates and diagnostic accuracy over older mammography technology through the addition of tomosynthesis, also known as three-dimensional (3-D) mammography. This allows radiologists to see more than what is shown on a standard digital mammogram. “A traditional mammogram offers a top-down picture from compression of the breast tissue. With tomosynthesis, the ‘3-D’ portion of the exam, we get thin cross-sectional images so we can see what it looks like at different angles — in that respect, it is almost like a CAT scan,” said Price.

Having your mammogram done by the same center year after year allows your doctor to compare prior images and look for subtle changes or abnormalities. This can allow for early detection of breast cancer, which in turn can lead to life-saving treatment. “Being able to look back at a history of breast images and compare with prior films is critical for being able to interpret studies correctly. That’s a major advantage of coming to a place where you have established your medical records,” said Price. “It improves the accuracy of the reading.” 

Special community events

Paint Port Pink will offer several events throughout the month of October hosted by Mather’s community partners. Register for events at www.paintportpink.org.

Monday, Oct. 1: Turn Your Pink Lights On!

Thursday, Oct. 4, 6 to 8 p.m.: Chocolate Making Class, Chocolate Works, Stony Brook. Join them for some sweet fun molding and decorating your own chocolate creations! Registration is required.

Tuesday, Oct. 9, Noon: Wear Pink Day, Mather Hospital, Port Jefferson. Get dressed up in your best pink outfit, take a photo and post using #paintportpink

Wednesday, Oct. 10: Pink Sale, Mather Hospital, Port Jefferson. Come and find some pink treasures at the Mather Hospital Thrift and Gift Shop lobby sale. 

Saturday, Oct. 14, Noon & 1 p.m.: Community Reiki Circle, It Takes a Village Wellness, Port Jefferson with two chances to participate in and learn about the power of reiki. Registration is required.

Friday, Oct. 19, 6 to 7 p.m.: Meditation Session, It Takes a Village Wellness, Port Jefferson. Attend a meditation session to enhance your health and tune in to mindfulness. Registration is required. 

Friday, Oct. 19, 7 to 9 p.m.: Chocolate Making Class, Chocolate Works, Stony Brook. Join them for some sweet fun molding and decorating your own chocolate creations! Registration is required. 

Monday, Oct. 22, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Yoga for Health class, Mather Hospital, Port Jefferson offered through It Takes a Village Wellness in Mather Hospital’s conference room B. Registration is required.

Friday, Oct. 26, 12 to 2 p.m.: Wellness Luncheon, Nantucket’s, Port Jefferson. Hosted by It Takes a Village Wellness, attend their “whole health” wellness luncheon and learn about staying healthy naturally. Registration is required. 

Saturday, Oct. 27, 9 a.m to 1:30 p.m.: HealthyU, Mather Hospital, Port Jefferson, a seminar series and health fair focused on physical, emotional and financial well-being. Registration is required. Call 631-686-7879.

Wednesday, Oct. 31: Winners of the Pink Your Pumpkin and Pink Your Window contests will be announced. 

* Proceeds from all events benefit the Fortunato Breast Health Center Fund for Uninsured and Underinsured.

Month-Long Promotions

Chick-fil-A, Port Jefferson Station: $1 from all milk shake sales during the month of October will benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

LI Pour House, Port Jefferson Station: Hosting Wine Down Wednesdays. Every Wednesday during the month of October a glass of wine will be $4 with 10 percent of your purchase benefiting the Fund for Uninsured.

East Main & Main, Port Jefferson: $1 from all pink donut sales during the month of October to benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

Amazing Olive, Port Jefferson: $1 from all extra virgin olive oil sales during the month of October to benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

Luck Soap, Port Jefferson: 40 percent of all Luck Soap Pink Ribbon soap sales (available for sale at Amazing Olive, Port Jefferson and Patchogue locations) during the month of October to benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

The Soap Box, Port Jefferson: 20 percent off Pink Sugar Kiss items during the month of October.

Yogo Delish, Port Jefferson: Donate $1 with your purchase during the month of October and get a $1 off coupon for your next visit.

Tapestry Salon, Mount Sinai: A portion of all pink hair extension sales during the month of October will benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

Cutting Hut, Port Jefferson Station: 10 percent of all pink hair extension sales during the month of October will benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

The Pie, Port Jefferson: Give a donation during the month of October and receive a free Pink Lemonade.

MAC Hair Salon, Mt. Sinai: Pink hair strands for $15 or $10 per pink foil during October with 50 percent of the proceeds to benefit the Fund for Uninsured.

Theatre Three, Port Jefferson: Receive a 20 percent discount on the purchase of your tickets in October when you mention Paint Port Pink.

For more information, please visit www.paintportpink.org.

All photos courtesy of John T. Mather Memorial Hospital

Indulging in a delicious, fresh specialty doughnut can be done guilt free in Port Jefferson this month.

East Main & Main, a doughnut shop in Port Jefferson Village that opened in June and is named for the intersection it overlooks, has embraced the spirit of national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In October, among the shop’s made fresh in-house daily selections has been an assortment of pink-decorated themed treats meant to honor the occasion and raise money for a worthy cause.

Port Jeff annually recognizes breast cancer awareness thanks to the Fortunato Breast Health Center Services at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital, the driving force behind Paint Port Pink, a month-long community outreach effort in the village with the mission of raising awareness about breast cancer, sharing information and education and fostering solidarity in the community. Every day this month, East Main & Main owners Lisa Harris and Robert Strehle have brainstormed new pink doughnuts to offer to customers, and a portion of the sales for each of the commemorative pastries will be donated to the Fortunato center’s Fund for the Uninsured at the end of the month. The fund is comprised of money from community donations and fundraising initiatives to offer discounted or no-cost mammography screenings to qualified patients.

“Cancer in general is a cause that’s near and dear to my heart and this was something we were definitely going to jump on board with and participate in,” Harris said during a phone interview. She said she has an aunt who is a breast cancer survivor and knows many others, so the decision to participate was easy. “We just look forward to getting more and more involved in the community in any way that we can, especially for causes we believe in.”

Harris said the pink doughnuts have sold out every day so far and the customer response has been enthusiastic. Some of the flavors have included pink guava, peanut butter and jelly, pink lemonade, a “pink diva” doughnut with gold glitter and many more. None of the flavors have been or will be repeated, and Harris said it has been a little stressful coming up with new flavors, which she said they do on the fly each day, but a dedicated team of kid tasters and other customers have offered feedback and suggestions to share the creative burden.

“It’s all sorts of fun,” Harris said of the creative process.

On Oct. 4, the shop featured a strawberry pomegranate frosted doughnut, and a satisfied customer commented on a photo of the creation on East Main & Main’s Instagram account: “Yumm! The best flavor! Can’t wait for it to reappear in the spring — hopefully?”

Also featured the same day was the Pink Party, a strawberry frosted doughnut dipped in rainbow sprinkles.

“Hands down the best pink-frosted donut I’ve ever had,” another Instagram follower posted. “Thank you for that magic.”

Harris suggested the success of the October promotion has inspired the owners to seek out more month-long features aimed at raising money and awareness for worthy causes in the coming months.

The American Cancer Society reports that the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer sometime during her life is about one in eight. Since there is still no sure way to prevent breast cancer, increased awareness, education and early detection are critical components of breast health care. The Fortunato center recommends that women apply the following the guidelines for early detection of breast cancer: first mammography by age 40 and yearly mammograms after age 40; clinical breast exams at least every three years beginning at age 20 and annually after age 40; and monthly breast self-examinations.