Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Queens

Staff Writer

October is breast cancer awareness month and hospitals around Queens are hosting events to commemorate the occasion.

Every year in October, breast cancer awareness is celebrated across the country to bring attention to the disease that affects many women.  According to the American Cancer Society, more than 232,000 new cases of breast cancer have been diagnosed this year so far and there is a one in eight chance that a woman will get the disease during her lifetime.

Twenty-five women attended a free program at North Shore-LIJ to become breast health ambassadors.

Twenty-five women attended a free program at North Shore-LIJ to become breast health ambassadors.

In light of this month, two hospitals in Queens, Mount Sinai Queens and North Shore-LIJ, are hosting events concentrating on bringing its awareness and new trends in treating the cancer.

LIJ launched a program this week that asks women in Queens to raise more awareness about the disease.

The program, called the Breast Health Ambassador Program, gathered about 25 women who will encourage other women to get a mammogram test or to quell any fears they may have about the diagnostic test. The 25 women selected were either breast cancer survivors or have a history of the disease in their family.

“By recruiting committed, personally-invested ambassadors in the community, we can potentially increase the detection rate, enhance prevention and lower the death rate of breast cancer,” said Dr. Jill Rabin, co-chief of the division of ambulatory care and women’s health programs-Pcap Services at the North Shore-LIJ Health System; and head of urogynecology at LIJ.  “LIJ is committed to reducing any barriers for women to get mammograms.”

One example of this is Maxine Mahlstadt, a breast cancer survivor and a mom to three children.

Following a mammogram on her breasts that turned out to be a calcium build-up, doctors did additional tests and found a tumor deep within her breast that could not easily be felt. Although she has survived since being diagnosed in 2011, she urged people who participate in the program to always check yourself and speak with your doctor if there is a potential problem.

Mount Sinai Queens will host a symposium on Oct. 22 that will discuss new trends in breast cancer treatment and prevention.

According to their website, six health professionals will be on hand to discuss the emerging trends for treating the disease, including Dr. Howard Greenberg, who is associate chief of hematology and oncology and director of Mount Sinai Queens Cancer Program; and Panagiotis Manolas, who is the Chief of Surgery at Mount Sinai Queens.

Mount Sinai offers a multi-tiered approach to treating women who have breast cancer at their facility, the Mount Sinai Queens infusion center, which is right across the street from their main facility in Astoria.

“We take a compassionate, comprehensive view to screening, diagnosing and treating the patient. We provide many services while navigating the patients through the complex system of cancer prevention and treatment,” said Dr. Gloria Morris, assistant professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and a medical oncologist at the program specializing in the treatment of all types of cancers with a particular niche in breast and ovarian cancers. Morris will also be at the panel hosted by the hospital.

The symposium will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Ricardo’s By The Bridge at 21-01 24th Ave. in Long Island City. To reserve a seat for the discussion, call (718) 267-4333.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127,, or @luisgronda.