Southwest resident Thelma Jones with Mayor Vincent Gray.

Are you 40 years or older? Do you have a family history of breast cancer? Are you in need of assistance to arrange a screening for breast health? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, community breast care navigator Thelma Jones, Smith Center for the Healing and the Arts, welcomes a call or email from you at (202) 488-3746 or With the advent of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Jones would like to remind women (and men) about annual breast cancer screening.

The American Cancer Society recommends these breast cancer screening guidelines for most adults.

  • Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health;
  • Clinical breast exam (CBE) about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over;
  • Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care provider. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.

Also, according to the American Cancer Society, some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRI in addition to mammograms. (The number of women who fall into this category is small: less than 2% of all the women in the US.) Talk with your doctor about your history and whether you should have additional tests at an earlier age.

For the fourth consecutive year, Jones invites you to join “Team TJ” at the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5-K fundraising walk at the Sylvan Theatre, National Mall on Saturday, October 20, 2012. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the event starts at 10 a.m. Join “Team TJ” and sign up for the walk at Registration fee is $25. For more information, please call or email Thelma Jones at (202) 488-3746 or

By Thelma D. Jones, a breast cancer survivor, a staunch volunteer for the American Cancer Society and a community breast care navigator for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts.

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