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Breast Cancer Awareness presentation at Centralia Cultural Society

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Merrilee Brandt, MD, to give FREE community health presentation on breast care health

 Breast Cancer Awareness Month presentation Monday, October 1, in Centralia

Marilee Brandt Port 4x5.jpg

CENTRALIA, IL – Most breast changes are not cancer, yet the fear of breast cancer can loom over women like a dark cloud in an otherwise blue sky. The best possible scenario is to remain cancer free; and while nothing can guarantee that happy state, there are things women can do to stack the odds in their favor.

Also, women should remember that breast cancer, when diagnosed early, is becoming more and more treatable through advanced procedures and therapies.

Dr. Merrilee Brandt, a board-certified surgeon with SSM Health Medical Group, will be giving a FREE community health presentation on Breast Care Health on Monday, October 1, from 6–7:30 pm at the Centralia Cultural Society (1250 East Rexford Street). Mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends can enjoy a FREE evening focused on fun and learning more about the latest technology and resources in women’s breast health.

Registration is required. Interested individuals should call 1-888-257-6098 to register as seating capacity is limited. Food and refreshments will be provided, and attendees have an opportunity to receive giveaways and win special door prizes.

Beyond a healthy lifestyle, women should be vigilant about any changes in their breasts, according to Dr. Brandt. “Breast cancer really is evolving from a terminal disease to a chronic or curable condition,” she says. “And breast health is becoming better understood so that women can take the most appropriate steps to reduce their cancer risk.”

Obviously, age and family history are beyond a woman’s control, and both these factors affect breast cancer risk. However, women can maintain a healthy weight, be tobacco free, exercise regularly, drink no more than one alcoholic beverage per day, and eat a healthy, low-fat diet.

“These lifestyle factors have been shown to help decrease breast cancer risk, and they’re also good for the cardiovascular system and brain,” Dr. Brandt notes. “Really, these basic steps are the foundation on which women– and men – can build a long and healthy life.”

Dr. Brandt has a special interest in women’s health. Dr. Brandt stays up-to-date on breast health research and treatments by regularly attending the Northwestern University annual breast cancer symposium and bringing back learnings to advance women’s health programs at SSM Health in Southern Illinois.

As noted earlier, most breast changes are not cancer, but a monthly self-exam starting at age 20 and an annual mammogram starting at age 40 are proactive ways to ensure that any abnormalities are found early, when they are most treatable.

More information about Dr. Brandt, and cancer care services at SSM Health in Southern Illinois, can be obtained by visiting