In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, local radio and television stations across the country educated their viewers on the importance of cancer screenings and initiatives to raise awareness and funds for research and support services.
Here are a few examples of how local stations are delivering vital health information to their viewers.
Meredith Corporation’s CBS46 Atlanta, Ga., raised awareness about cancer inequity in Black women. While Black women have slightly lower breast cancer rates than white women, they are 40% more likely to die from the disease and twice as likely if they are over the age of 50. The American Cancer Society is funding 68 research grants focused on health disparities across the country, and Anchor Karyn Greer spoke with a local chef who is helping raise funds for research with Real Men Wear Pink. Chef Dephon Robinson noted one issue is a lack of healthy food in areas that are food deserts. With the help of Metro Atlanta Urban Farm, he is hosting cooking demonstrations in the community and helping provide meal kits with recipe cards, seasonings and seed packets so people can create their own sustainable lifestyle.
Beasley Broadcast Group’s Magic 98.3 New Brunswick, N.J., informed their listeners about some of the important milestones women should know about concerning breast cancer screenings. According to the American Cancer Society, women ages 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year and women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every two years or can continue yearly screening. Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms if they wish to do so. The station encouraged women who are feeling something abnormal to consult their doctor immediately.
Gray Television’s TV6 Davenport, Iowa, interviewed a local doctor about mammograms and the importance of breast cancer screenings for early detection. Dr. Susan Bird of Advanced Radiology spoke about hesitation surrounding mammograms, the accuracy of the tests and discussed how dense breast tissue can make it more difficult to detect breast cancer. Bird discussed the use of other tools such as ultrasounds and MRIs, especially with high-risk patients, to increase the possibility of detecting breast cancer.
Townsquare Media’s News Radio 1310 Twin Falls, Idaho, promoted a pink trash bin initiative that helps support breast cancer awareness and local organizations in the fight against cancer. Listeners can purchase a pink trash bin from Western Waste Services for an initial enrollment fee of $50 and the entire amount goes to either the St. Luke's Mobile Mammography Unit or the North Canyon Medical Center Genius 3D Mammography SmartCurve System. So far, more than $25,000 has been donated to the programs.
Nexstar Media Group’s WTRF 7News Wheeling, W. Va., highlighted an opportunity for viewers to decorate a square for a quilt that will help lift the spirits of breast cancer patients. A team from Jim Robinson Ford dealership set up tables inside a local Walmart with fabric squares, colorful markers, stamps and stamp pads that people could use to decorate a square with words and symbols of hope to be made into quilts. The Bob Robinson Ford dealership also held quilt decorating days, and 80 regional Ford dealers took part in the Quilt For A Cure project.
iHeartMedia’s Real 93.1 and 98.9 Kiss FM serving Louisville, Ky., held the fifth annual “Sista Strut” 3K Breast Cancer Charity Walk to increase awareness about breast cancer and provide information on community resources in the area. A portion of the proceeds benefited Kentucky African Americans Against Cancer. The event featured live music, performances by Safiyyah Dance Company and LaNita Rocknettes School of Dance, a pink balloon release and a survivor’s lounge.
Graham Media Group’s KPRC2 Houston, Texas, educated their viewers in Texas about lymphedema, a permanent condition where a limb swells and becomes difficult to use. This condition can occur in breast cancer patients who undergo surgery that removes a lymph node. Health reporter Haley Hernandez interviewed Dawn McDonald, a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed with lymphedema after a double mastectomy with reconstruction and is now a certified lymphedema specialist who works with other breast cancer patients. McDonald stressed the importance of early detection and encouraged other patients who have lymphedema to talk with a specialist about how to manage and live with it.
More than 2.47 million American jobs depend on broadcasting, and the local broadcast radio and television industry - and the businesses that depend on it - generate $1.17 trillion annually for the nation's economy.