From the Hospital CEO


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    With an estimated 233,000 cases of breast cancer expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. this year alone, odds are high that this disease has touched your life: a parent, a partner, a sibling, a friend, a colleague. And if so, you’ve seen firsthand just how life-changing this illness can be.

    At Stony Brook Medicine, we too have seen firsthand the destruction breast cancer can cause. But we’ve also seen what hope looks like. 

    As a leading provider of cancer services in Suffolk County we’ve seen hope in the face of our patients following successful treatment and hope in the scientific breakthroughs and pioneering therapies of our researchers. We find hope in the dedication of our multidisciplinary teams who pay just as much attention to quality of life as they do to quality of treatments. And we find hope in the statistics that say more and more people are surviving breast cancer and continuing to live full, productive lives.

    But do you know where we pin our biggest hopes of all? On awareness, prevention and early detection. Science tells us that when breast cancer is diagnosed and treated in its earlier stages, five-year survival rates increase dramatically. 

    That’s why Stony Brook Medicine is partnering with the entire Town of Brookhaven this October to raise awareness about breast cancer for an initiative called “Let’s Turn Brookhaven Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness.” Yes, it’s so important that we are working with the town government, businesses and other organizations to get the message out to Brookhaven’s 80,000 residents.

    The message is quite simple: Awareness and early detection help to save lives. We, in turn, will put the full weight of our esteemed Stony Brook University Cancer Center behind the message to turn awareness into action. 

    This includes education presentations by Stony Brook physicians, researchers, nurse practitioners and other clinical staff at eight Brookhaven town sites. A variety of topics will be covered, including prevention, nutrition and survivorship, with question-and-answer sessions for participants. The month’s activities also include the distribution of breast self-exam cards and pledge forms so women can make the promise to themselves to receive potentially lifesaving mammograms.

    And to raise awareness during October, we will turn the town pink — literally — with pink banners, pink lapel pins, pink vehicle magnets, pink signs in local businesses throughout the Town of Brookhaven. Anything we can turn pink, we will. Why? Because at Stony Brook, we are always investigating innovative ways to reduce risk, improve the quality of life for our patients and, ultimately, save lives. Going pink is just the start.

    L. Reuven Pasternak, MD
    Chief Executive Officer, Stony Brook University Hospital
    Vice President for Health Systems, Stony Brook Medicine

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