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Purple tea promotes breast cancer awareness

By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
Guests attending the third annual Purple Tea were donned in their best purple clothes as they sipped tea in dainty little teacups, all in support of breast cancer awareness.
The Purple Tea was hosted by the Escambia County Extension Service and took place in the education room of D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital. Approximately 35 people attended the tea on Thursday, Oct. 27, up from last year's event, which last year had an attendance of 17 people.
Carolyn Bivins, Escambia County Extension Service Agent, introduced Dorothy Samuels, a breast cancer survivor and a Jefferson Smurfit Corporation Human Resource representative as the keynote speaker. Samuels told her own personal story of her discovery of the cancer and the steps she took to take care of her body.
Debbie Beverly, another extension agent was there to go over the new food pyramid and explained to the ladies attending the necessity of eating healthy and building a healthier body.
She also stressed the need for an exercise program and an awareness of reading labels in buying food items.
After a break to have a cup of tea, the group listened to Deborah Hoffman, who is the Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer coordinator for this area.
She presented a slide show stressing the need for every woman to perform breast self-examinations on a regular basis.
She pointed out that there were 214,000 new cases of breast cancer in 2004 and 41,000 deaths. Early detection is essential to lower those numbers and every woman should do a breast examination every month, a yearly mammogram and a clinical breast examination.
There are limitations on mammograms and although most cancers can be detected by a mammogram, one should not wholly rely on them.
After the program was over, Celesta Motton explained her purple dress and red scarf around her head by reading a poem. The guests played a round of Bingo and a moving moment occurred when they were asked to light a candle for those who did not survive.