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Aventura Hospital and Aventura Comprehensive Cancer Center Conclude Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a Celebration of Survivors

Aventura, FL (October, 2009) – Aventura Hospital and Medical Center and the Aventura Comprehensive Cancer Center concluded Breast Cancer Awareness Month with two strong programs to raise awareness and to inspire survivors. 
On Thursday, October 29th, Aventura Hospital partnered with the City of Hollywood to present a special seminar for the community at the Broward Public Library in Hollywood.  Dr. Alanna Harris, Medical Director for Aventura Hospital’s Breast Diagnostics Center, advised women of ways to detect the signs and symptoms of Breast Cancer early, including regular self-breast exams and annual digital mammograms.  “Breast Cancer can be detected through mammograms before they can be felt,” she explained, “Not all lumps in the breast will turn out to be cancerous, but it is very important if you sense anything to consult with an expert and get your screening.  The good news is that the earlier you catch the cancer, the better your chances that it can be treatable.”

Events continued on Friday, October 30th with a special luncheon to honor survivors.  More than 30 women from all backgrounds and different stages in their care gathered together to share their experiences and to celebrate life.  Even the menu consisted of foods that promoted healthy living.  Life Coach Paula Holland De Long of What’s Next For My Life? inspired guests with her own story of survival.  “When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I found myself faced with some difficult questions and choices as to what to do with my life,” she explained, “I really had to think how I would move forward after I had finished my treatment, and that was how I came up with this program to help others who are going through similar experiences.”

The American Cancer Society predicts that in 2009, some 192,370 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, accounting for more than one in four cancers diagnosed.
Fortunately, if breast cancer is caught early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.  The breast cancer death rate continues to decrease since the 1990s in U.S. women because of improved treatments, preventive measures, and increased mammography screening rates.

“I am so lucky to be alive,” said Maritza Lewin, a survivor who attended Friday’s luncheon, “It is so important to stay positive and appreciate what you have.  I love life even more now and was able to celebrate my daughter’s wedding this past April!”

About Aventura Hospital and Medical Center
Aventura Hospital and Medical Center is a 407 acute care medical/surgery facility providing award winning inpatient and outpatient diagnostic, medical, surgical, cardiovascular and cancer services to the communities of northeast Miami-Dade and southeast Broward counties since 1965.  Always on the cutting-edge of healthcare technology, Aventura Hospital was the first in Dade County to install the da Vinci S HD Robot and the Elekta Synergy S.  The Aventura Hospital and Medical Center Stroke Program was also the first in Dade County to earn The Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center Certification Program Gold Seal of Approval for healthcare quality.  The 24-hour Emergency Room consistently maintains an average wait time of less than 10 minutes, and the Cardiac Catheterization Lab’s average STEMI time of less than 60 minutes fulfills the standards set forth by Miami-Dade County EMS.  Staffed by more than 700 physicians representing over 50 specialties and 1,300 employees, the hospital meets the healthcare needs of its neighboring communities through continuous program enhancement and service excellence.

About Aventura Comprehensive Cancer Center / Aventura Breast Diagnostic Center
The Aventura Comprehensive Cancer Center, a 31,500 square-foot center, provides extensive outpatient services, including superior screening, diagnosis, treatment and education capabilities, as well as compassionate research-based care. As an approved American College of Surgeons “Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program”, the members of the medical staff are board certified in the major medical specialties and participate in clinical research as a requirement. Additionally we provide a full range of diagnostic and treatment services that are available on site, allowing our patients easy access to all aspects of cancer care at one location.

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