October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and PA Forward | Pennsylvania Libraries, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Library Association, is going pink in an effort to raise awareness and promote early detection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is second to melanoma skin cancer in leading causes of death for women. Breast cancer deaths among women were 40,676 in the United States in 2009. (U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group).
Libraries throughout Pennsylvania play an important role in helping citizens actively manage their own well-being, thus making them effective partners with their healthcare providers. For many, a library is the first stop after receiving a diagnosis from their doctor. The Boyertown Community Library maintains a strong collection of health information, including medical manuals, coping guides, memoirs of survivors, and access to current medical research and data.
The Boyertown Community Library also offers free access to online sites such as the Mayo Clinic, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and the U.S. National Library of Medicine for up-to-date research and statistics. Additionally, Pennsylvania residents can use Consumer Health through the state’s POWER Library, available on www.berks.lib.pa.us/sbo or www.powerlibrary.org. Consumer Health provides articles, research reports, and drug information, as well as alternative solutions.
Libraries are the connectors between people and information. When facing a diagnosis, facts and research from reliable sources can be comforting. The Boyertown Community Library has quality materials and resources to help patients make informed decisions about their healthcare. Although National Breast Cancer Awareness Month started more than 25 years ago, much is still needed to be done to help fight this disease.
For more information on PA Forward, visit www.paforward.org. For more information on the Boyertown Community Library, visit www.berks.lib.pa.us/sbo.
Information from The Boyertown Community Library.