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Features Health & Wellness

Local government leaders across Western North Carolina are joining together in hopes of having more control over funding allocations to Smoky Mountain Center, the region's agency in charge of managing mental health services for the area.

Macon County joined other local counties such as Jackson and Clay in passing a resolution urging the state Department of Health and Human Services, the General Assembly and the governor to delay, revisit, and revise the requirements concerning the governance and appointment of elected county officials as board members to the Smoky Mountain LME/MCO Board of Directors.

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Last Wednesday, Angel Medical Center (AMC) invited members of the community to attend the “topping” ceremony for the new cancer center that will be located between Riverview Street and the Depot Street Extension.

Attendees were able to celebrate the hoisting of the first beam by signing their names and/or loved ones’ names on to the steel as a way to commemorate the event.

AMC CEO Jim Bross addressed those in attendance, expounding on the steps that AMC, along with Mission Healthcare System, has taken to make the center a reality.

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While October is nationally recognized as being breast cancer awareness month, it serves a dual purpose as also being liver cancer awareness month.

Over the last several decades, the percentage of Americans developing liver cancer has been slowly rising. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 30,640 new cases (22,720 in men and 7,920 in women) will be diagnosed with primary liver cancer and intrahepatic bile duct cancer in the United States in 2013 and about 21,670 people (14,890 men and 6,780 women) will die of these cancers.

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Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women today, second only to skin cancer. Currently, a woman born in the United States faces a one in eight risk of developing this disease during her lifetime, and chances are that every person reading this article has either faced the disease or knows more than one friend or family member who has.

Prior to 1970, the subject of breast cancer was taboo except in medical journals, but today breast cancer is a common topic of conversation, and that’s the first step in prevention activities. Let’s begin this discussion of breast cancer prevention by providing historical context and some good news.

First, since 1990, the mortality rate from breast cancer has decreased by two percent per year. Approximately half of that decline is attributable to screening mammography.

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