Marcia Ray Breast Center Is More Than ‘Pretty in Pink’

Fabiola Prieto

Every October, a multitude of products, events and displays are adorned with the “Pink Ribbon” insignia and the many shades of pink in support of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, for the Marcia Ray Breast Center, fighting breast cancer is a year-long cause.

An annex to the Glendale Memorial Hospital, the Marcia Ray Breast Center has served women for 23 years. It offers high-quality screening and diagnostic services to help detect breast cancer at its earliest stages.

It is named after a patient treated in the Glendale Memorial Hospital. As she began her battle against breast cancer, she reached out to other patients and their families, mobilized a community involvement in the cause, and founded a support group where cancer patients and survivors share their experiences.

According to the American Cancer Society, 40,460 women will die from the disease this year.

Throughout October, the center has offered mammograms for the discounted price of $100, but its commitment to women goes beyond the “pink month.” They are designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

The Marcia Ray Breast center has earned accreditation in all the ACR’s voluntary breast-imaging program, in addition to the mandatory Mammography Accreditation Program. According to Wanda Wheeler, manager supervisor of the center, all services necessary – from screening to diagnosis – are provided by them.

In addition to medical services, the center offers support programs.

The “Wig Exchange Program” lends professionally-styled wigs to women undergoing chemotherapy. The “Softer Mammogram Program” provides patients with a cushion that diminishes the pain during the procedure; a small fee for this service goes towards breast cancer research and education.

The center also has two different programs that offer discounts for screening for low-income women and organizes an annual Cancer Survival Celebration.

“It’s a lot of fun and it’s also very healing for patients” said Wheeler about the celebration. She recounts an experience she had during this year’s event where she saw one of the cancer patients burst in tears when they where dancing; this was the first time the person had danced since she was diagnosed.

“We think of it as a nice little celebration, but sometimes, for a patient, that’s the only time they get to be happy…for that moment all of her worries went away -it was wonderful,” Wheeler said.
This month, the center was awarded for its participation in cancer education programs and constant support to the American Cancer Society.

“I think this campaign is important because [breast cancer] could happen to anybody and people not knowing means less chances of doing something about it when it’s still curable,” said Diana Menjibar, 18, sociology major.

For more information on services provided at the Marcia Ray Breast Center, call (818) 502-2323.

For more information on breast cancer, visit: http://www.breastcancer.org.