ENDICOTT N.Y -- 25-year-old Heather Smith knows better than anyone how important it is to be screened early for breast cancer. After finding out she had a genetic gene that increases her chances of breast cancer, she made a decision.
"That's what I decided to do, is get the mastectomy with reconstruction and I'm two weeks post-op from that," she said.
Understand the facts and talk with your doctor about the best time to get screened.
That's the message Smith and the YWCA's ENCOREplus program want both men and women to know.
"At 35-40 you have should you're first mammogram. After 40, you should have a mammogram every year," said Laurie Ziegler, the Chief Mammographer at Lourdes Breast Cancer Center.
Organizers say yearly mammograms are the best way to prevent breast cancer, and events like these are a great way to bring awareness to the cause.
"It's Breast Cancer Awareness month. There's a lot of events going on. But, this also brings people together to talk about it and you know we can hop on a van and get our mammograms today," ENCOREplus Director Crystal Lown said.
The 3rd Annual Bras for a Cause featured mammograms from Lourdes Mission in Motion, a ceremony to honor breast cancer victims and a stilletto race to stomp out breast cancer.
"This event is hugely important to shine a light on how important it is for women to get their screening to prevent breast cancer," said Carole Coppens, Broome County YWCA Executive Director.
A fun way to highlight an important issue that could potentially save lives.
The event was sponsored by the YWCA Encore Plus Program. The program helps uninsured or underinsured women get access to free breast and cervical cancer screenings