About 3,200 patients may benefit every year from the breast cancer detection equipment being purchased with the help of the Paint the Town Pink event proceeds this year, according to Linda Waring, coordinator of the SNMH Women’s Imaging Center.
Participants in Thursday’s seventh annual event will be supporting new technology known as automated whole breast ultrasound that was especially designed as a screening adjunct for women with dense breast tissue. It will be recommended for women with dense breast tissue in addition to traditional mammography screenings. Waring said studies have shown the addition of screening ultrasound increases the cancer detection rate from 4.5 cancers per 1,000 studies to 7.9. Early detection of breast cancer increases the chances for successful treatment, she said.
About 40 percent of women have dense breast tissue and will benefit from the ultrasound study, Waring explained.
“Breast density is now included in the radiologists’ report to physicians,” Waring noted. “If a woman has dense tissue a paragraph about that is now included in the result letter she will receive. Every woman should know her breast density and be made aware that further testing would be of benefit.”
Tickets for Paint the Town Pink are still available, according to Mary Anne Davis, event and sponsorship manager at The Union. The hospital and the newspaper co-sponsor the event, which was created by Jeff Ackerman, former publisher of The Union.
“We’ve continued this event because it’s a great celebration of women, as well as men, who can get breast cancer,” Davis said. “All funds go to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation. It’s a very special evening, and a wonderful ‘girls night out.’ You can celebrate and have a lot of fun while supporting this important cause.”
Tickets are $40 at the door, or $35 in advance, Davis said. Advance tickets may be obtained at www.theunion.com/pink, The Union, BriarPatch, the hospital foundation office, or the hospital’s gift shop. The event will be held in the main building of the Nevada County Fairgrounds from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24.
Davis said between 500 and 600 people are expected to attend. Many dress in pink, or in costumes, to add to the fun.
The event includes a silent auction, which this year includes a hot pink colored spa chair donated by Sierra Timberline, and Hunter Douglas vertical shades from Barbara Hartnick at The Shady Lady. There will also be art, quilts, luggage, jewelry, and personal services.
A fashion show will feature clothes from The Parlour, Fresh Image, Cosmetique and the Nevada County Cinderella Project, a nonprofit that collects and gives away prom dresses. Models will be escorted by local physicians wearing pink scrubs, Davis added.
Vendors will give away prizes at their booths, and food and wine samples will be provided by local restaurants, caterers, and wineries.
This year hair stylists from local salons will be on hand to cut hair which will be donated through the Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program. This program supplies wigs to cancer patients, in association with the American Cancer Society. Requirements may be found at the Pantene Beautiful Lengths web site.
Kimberly Parker, executive director of the SNMH Foundation, which raises funds for the hospital, said proceeds of the first six years have exceeded $100,000. Previous Paint the Town Pink events have helped buy equipment for the Sierra Nevada Cancer Center, a biopsy guidance system for breast MRI, and funded a women’s resource library. She hopes proceeds may reach $25,000 this year.
“This event has been instrumental in helping us raise money for important equipment and activities for local breast cancer patients,” she said. “Perhaps more importantly, it helps bring awareness to our community about breast health and encourages women to have annual mammogram screenings. I can’t thank The Union, their vendors, guests, and volunteers enough for their help with this important cause.”
“Paint the Town Pink is something we here at the Women’s Imaging Center have that is unique to our community,” Waring said. “It is only by raising funds from the community that we can have the newest and best technology so patients here can have the best exams along with a program that offers full support and same day biopsy. When we opened in 1995 we wanted to be a full service breast center, and it is through events like this and donations from the community that we are able to keep up with the ever changing technology and have achieved N.Q.M.B.C. Center of Excellence designation since 2011.”