Pink Up: Surgeon Stresses Importance of Yearly Checkups
(The following is an excerpt from a story by WDAM’s Jessica Bowman for the station’s monthly Pink Up Breast Cancer series.)
The fight against breast cancer continues in the Pine Belt, and a local plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Hattiesburg Clinic, is talking about the importance of yearly check-ups and how his job plays an important role in the battle.
“Getting a yearly mammogram is paramount and has been proven over the years to be the first and probably the best screening method,” Dr. Richard Pecunia said.
It is recommended women age 40 should start screenings. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in U.S. women just this year.
“Women always need to be conscious of their health,” Pecunia said. “They have to get regular checkups, regular exams, regular lab works and things like that. This all dove tails with the care of the female breasts.”
Serving the Pine Belt for more than 20 years, Pecunia began the department of Plastic Surgery as Hattiesburg Clinic’s first plastic and reconstructive surgeon in 1994.
“A lot of what we do, as far as women’s health is concerned, is involved with patients who have had breast cancer and undergone a mastectomy to treat their breast cancer,” Pecunia said. “My role is to become involved with the component of breast reconstruction. This is where attempts are made to replace what the mastectomy has taken away. We try and put back together some semblance of what makes them whole again.”
Click here to watch the full story and learn more about breast cancer and reconstructive surgery.