According to the American Cancer Society, 80 percent of breast cancer patients have no risk factor other than the simple fact that they are female. In 2006, about 212,920 women in the U.S. are projected to be diagnosed with breast cancer, and about 40,970 will die from it this year. Charleston Breast Center has been committed to providing women with digital mammography, diagnosis, education, and emotional support since February 2006. To learn more about the center’s dedication, mission, doctors, and donors, visit


, and to schedule a mammogram, call 556-0116.


Giving the Gift of Life

You’ve seen the ads with smiling young women, exclaiming “Become an Egg Donor!” Sounds intriguing, especially when you consider the $3,000 compensation package. Cari Maness, the egg donor coordinator for the Southeastern Fertility Center, says, “We are always looking for good qualified applicants, but not everyone has the time.” Donors dedicate about six weeks to the process, which includes lab work, ultrasounds, a series of medications, egg retrieval performed under sedation, and a post-op visit. Donors must also provide extensive medical, family, and genetic history and, if accepted, will undergo interviews and physical and psychological examinations. Maness says the center received 800 donor questionnaires last year, but only 30 or 40 women actually went through with the procedure, which benefits couples who either can’t conceive or don’t want to because of genetic issues. For more details, visit


, or to make an appointment, call 881-3900.

A Breath of Fresh Air

College of Charleston students are tired of walking through a cloud of carcinogens to get to class. According to surveys conducted in spring 2005, roughly half of students surveyed supported stricter smoking rules, including the idea of making residence halls 100 percent smoke-free. The number of students smoking three times a week has dropped from 30 percent to 21 percent over the past two years. CofC Health Educator Laura Lindroth says, “There has been a lot of discussion via e-mails, the school newspaper, the tobacco survey, and word-of-mouth about the smoking issue here. Perhaps that has caused some to think twice about smoking.” The new smoking policies at the college designate smoke-free entranceways to buildings and mandate that students and faculty smoke only in designated areas. With these new measures in place, students and faculty can breathe easier knowing their campus has gotten a lot healthier.

About 38.6 million people around the world are living with HIV, including 2.3 million children, according to UNAIDS’ stats. In 2005 alone, about 4.1 million people became infected. Roughly half become infected before age 25 and will die before age 35. DHEC and Lowcountry AIDS Services will hold their annual candlelight march on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1. The march begins at 5:30 p.m. in Washington Square Park downtown and ends at the Custom House. They will also be holding HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention activities throughout the day in the tri-county area. A shocking 71 percent of those infected with this epidemic in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties are African Americans. DHEC is working to increase participation in these events from the African American Community. To learn more about this and other HIV/AIDS activities, call Catherine Lamkin at 746-3869, or visit



October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and a prominent Lowcountry organization working for this cause is the disAbility Resource Center of North Charleston. The center promotes an Independent Living philosophy for the disabled. They provide peer mentoring for disabled persons and family members to counsel them and provide them with a better understanding of what they’re going through. In addition to helping people find employment, the center offers skills training for the newly injured, as well as in-home sessions to help them dress, cook, and generally “help them to relearn the skills they need,” Center employee Dale Cribb says. The center also helps to provide needed home modification, including ramps, wheelchairs, and bathing equipment. For further information on the disAbility Resource Center, call 225-5080 or visit