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October 5, 2013

Fly Creek mill, Bassett team up to battle cancer

By Jessica Reynolds Contributing Writer
The Daily Star

---- — The apples you’ll find at Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard’s 14th annual “Big Squeeze Weekend” this Saturday and Sunday don’t just taste delicious — they may be able to help cure cancer.

According to a recent study, researchers from Cornell University have found a dozen compounds called “triterpenoids” in apple peels that actually stop cancer cells from growing and even kill them in laboratory cultures. This discovery is especially relevant this October as people across the United States observe National Breast Cancer Awareness month and Bassett Healthcare Network prepares for an exciting development in the fight against breast cancer. 

At the event, which will be held Oct. 5 and 6, Fly Creek Cider Mill will feature more than eight different varieties of cancer-crushing, New York State-grown apples for sampling, and will join in the fight against breast cancer by raising awareness and funds for the Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network’s recent $1.5-million fundraising campaign to update the Women’s Imaging Center at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. 

According to the Cider Mill, all of Saturday’s sales of apple cider will be donated to the campaign to create a refurbished Women’s Imaging Center at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown in time for a fall 2014 opening. 

The radiologists, registered mammography technologists and ultrasonographers at Bassett have more than 9,000 visits each year for mammograms and diagnostic services, but the equipment that is used is becoming outdated. 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States and the second-leading cause of cancer death in women. However, breast cancer death rates have been steadily decreasing, and there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today. This is most likely due to early detection of the cancer and new and better options for treatment, which will soon be available at Bassett. 

According to Dr. Caridad Fuertes, a specialist in Bassett’s radiology department, the project will allow old equipment to be replaced with new, state-of-the-art technology that will help with early detection of breast cancer. It will also allow for the radiology space to be redesigned, in order to create more privacy and an overall better experience for breast-care patients. 

Reneé Scialdo Shevat, president of the board of Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network, said sh’s very excited to be a part of the project, which will take better care of women in central New York. 

“We know early detection is critical to giving women the best opportunity for beating many forms of cancer and as a woman myself, I know how stressful such medical visits can be,” Shevat said. “The fundraising campaign undertaken by the Friends for a Women’s Imaging Center will allow Bassett to bring in the latest technology and redesign the space to provide an overall better patient experience.”

In addition to fundraising from cider sales, Fly Creek’s event will feature Bassett Cancer Institute’s mobile medical screening coach. Information on cancer prevention and screening will be available, as well as tours of the mobile coach. On Sunday, the Cancer Services Program of Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties will provide free health screenings and exams, including mammograms and pelvic, breast and pap tests, for uninsured women over 40 and uninsured men over 50. 

According to the American Cancer Society, about 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be found this year, and the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer during her life is about 1 in 8. Breast cancer will cause about 39,620 deaths this year alone. 

The American Cancer Society suggests that any woman with a history of breast or ovarian cancer in their immediate family or in either parent’s extended family should talk with her doctor because it may suggest the presence of a genetic predisposition to cancer. Younger women should be especially watchful of this, because young women’s cancer tends to be the hereditary and/or more aggressive types. 

Early detection is the key. The free tests and information at Fly Creek Cider Mill this weekend will help increase breast cancer awareness and early detection of breast cancer and other cancers. 

“This successful Big Squeeze Weekend fundraiser is our way to kick-off Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” sid Brenda Michaels, co-owner of Fly Creek Cider Mill. “I lost my mom, a dear friend and team members to breast cancer. I’m proud to have our Mill help fund improvements to the Women’s Imaging Center. The Center provides more than 6,000 mammograms and 3,000 ultrasounds each year with information essential to maintaining women’s health.”