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      Think pink and get checked

      One in eight women will develop breast cancer during some point in their lifetime.

      October is geared toward decreasing that number.

      "We as women need to know what to do to protect ourselves," Lori Wilkey, Blessing Hospital's Breast Center manager, said.

      Wilkey deals with breast cancer patients on a daily basis. She is Blessing Hospital's Breast Center manager. She says the best thing you can do to protect yourself against breast cancer is screen.

      "Every women age 40 and over need to have their first mammogram, that's vital and they need to have it ever year after that," Wilkey said.

      If you aren't 40 yet, you should still get yearly clinical breast exams by your doctor and you can also perform self-breast exams monthly.

      "They really need to look in front of a mirror and we need to look for breast changes overall," Wilkey said.

      Those changes include lumps, redness and dimpling of the skin.

      Blessing's Breast Center is so passionate about encouraging women to get yearly mammograms, that it has a financial assistance program that aids women that can't afford the procedure. You can help the cause just by shopping.

      "Well this is our annual Breast Cancer Awareness Store," Lucy Bordewick, from Blessing Hospital, said. "We have t-shirts, we have sweatshirts, we have lots of fun pink apparel items and all of our proceeds go back to our financial assistance program."

      The program has helped more than 237 people and has paid out more 200 thousand dollars for procedures.

      "We actually pay for the imaging whether that be mammography, biopsies, we also pay for the physicians bill," Wilkey said.

      So whether you have breast cancer, know someone with breast cancer or just want to support awareness, Wilkey says the best thing you can do is think pink ... and get your yearly mammogram.

      The Breast Cancer Awareness store is open Monday through Friday until October 19 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.