Recently I had to get my annual mammogram. They were running behind like doctor’s offices sometimes do - there were seven women in dressing gowns in the waiting room with me. After a few awkward moments, we all started to talk to each other. Every single one of the ladies talked about how they hate to come and get their annual mammograms. They talked about the pain of it, joked about the embarrassment of it - there was even a suggestion that they should serve wine in the waiting room instead of coffee. But each also showed a deep appreciation for the necessity of breast cancer screening - telling stories of aunts and mothers who were saved by it. Finally one woman told us that she was 39 when a mammogram detected her breast cancer for the first time. She was able to get minor surgery and was put on a regimen of annual mammograms. Six years after, she got breast cancer again. Again the mammogram was able to catch it early. She said she was now 57 years old and she felt like she owed 18 years of life to her doctor who suggested she get a mammogram at 39. There is no doubt about it; mammograms save people’s lives.
This past Thursday (11/29) several RQS employees were fortunate enough to attend the kick-off event for the Women in Bio Pittsburgh chapter which featured keynote speaker Alexandra Drane. Alexandra is the founder and Chief Visionary Officer at Eliza Corporation. The event was buzzing with excitement as women in a number of life sciences fields came together and shared a common interest of wanting to improve healthcare and wanting to improve people's lives. Alexandra's speech was humorous and powerful. She discussed her current company (Eliza Corporation) as well as her previous three start-up companies. Alexandra has no regrets from past failures and in fact went into detail on everything she learned from her previous companies. I think being able to admit a mistake is the best way to move on and learn from it.
On November 29th the Women in Bio (WIB) Pittsburgh chapter will be having its official launch event with guest speaker Alexandra Drane. This will be an interesting informational and networking event that a number of RQS employees are planning to attend. It is encouraging to see life science focused events like this popping up in the Pittsburgh area. For more information about the event and the Pittsburgh Chapter in general please follow the link!
October is a very important month for women: It’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are many things to be proud of for how far we have come with treating breast cancer. The Susan G. Komen Foundation reports that the 5-year survival rate for female breast cancer survivors in the U.S. has improved from 63% in the early 1960’s to 90% today. Thanks to advances in technology and awareness of the disease, we have been able to make great strides.