Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Experts say early detection can make a world of difference in the life of a breast cancer patient.
In an effort to spread that message, Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services has extended its services to thousands of local women through its Reach Out To Care program that began in 2008.
The health provider's breast health outreach coordinator, Sory Reyes, travels around the Lowcountry, handing out literature, giving presentations and answering questions about breast health.
She encourages women to check their breasts monthly and schedule breast exams and mammograms when needed.
"It's not necessary to die of it," Reyes said. "Treatment can save a woman's life."
For the fourth year now, the program has been awarded a grant from the Avon Foundation Breast Health Outreach Program. Since 1993, the Avon Foundation has given more than $53 million in grants to breast health programs across the U.S. The grant money is raised through the sale of Avon "pink ribbon" products, and through breast cancer races and walks.
The $35,000 grant the local program received will go directly toward the Reach Out To Care program, allowing Reyes to continue raising awareness of the dangers of breast cancer.
"This will help us a lot," Reyes said. The grant will pay her salary and cover the cost of educational materials used for the program. "I know it will."