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Thinking pink may save your life

The Gaston Colleges Student Government Association wants to remind the community to “think pink” this month in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
On Wednesday, Oct. 19, the association sponsored a breast cancer awareness event that included information booths and two guest speakers. Annette Beam, a breast cancer survivor and Gaston College Childcare Center employee, was one of the speakers.
Diagnosed a year ago with cancer in her left breast, Beam already had been having annual mammograms because she was at-risk for breast cancer, as her aunt died from the disease.
After months of “the mean chemotherapy” (extra strength), surgeries — including a mastectomy — and breast reconstruction, another lump was found, this time in her right breast.
Because she already had had breast cancer and this lump was found to be “inconclusive,” the decision was made to remove the right breast as well.
Today, with only one surgery remaining for her second breast reconstruction — her ninth surgery since her cancer ordeal began —, Beam is happy, healthy, without her wig, “Henrietta,” and tending to her “babies” at the Childcare Center.
“My babies are my healing,” she said. During this month, and throughout the year, Beam encourages all women to get a buddy for annual mammograms and to do in-home, self-breast exams.
For more information about breast cancer, visit www.cancer.org..

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