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Phoebe holds women's health conference

Shirley Adams of Americus, a stage 4 lung cancer patient, promises to defy the odds and return for the 2013 Phoebe Putney Hospital women's health conference. Adams spoke at Saturday's conference, which focused on lung cancer. (Oct. 27, 2012)

Shirley Adams of Americus, a stage 4 lung cancer patient, promises to defy the odds and return for the 2013 Phoebe Putney Hospital women's health conference. Adams spoke at Saturday's conference, which focused on lung cancer. (Oct. 27, 2012)

ALBANY, Ga. -- A women's health conference added pale blue to the regular pink for cancer awareness color at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital's Healthworks facility Saturday.

"We thought the pale blue T-shirts would bring attention to this year's emphasis on lung cancer," said Darrell Sabbs, Phoebe's community benefits coordinator. "A leading cause of cancer death in men and women is lung cancer. The leading factor in contracting lung cancer is smoking."

Several physicians spoke during the workshops at the event. They informed participants about risk factors, prevention and treatment at the nearly six hour program called "Cancer Awareness: A Matter of Life and Breath."

There was also a display of courage from a stage-4 cancer patient. Stage 4 is the most advanced form of lung cancer.

Shirley Adams of Americus has stage 4 cancer. She also has what has come to be called the right stuff. As journalist Tom Wolfe has categorized it, the right stuff is a combination of courage and the will to go on despite great odds.

Speaking at first about her reliance on her faith in Christ, Adams made a vow. "I'm going to make liars out of the doctors," she said. "I'll be back here next year."

The program that includes health screenings including blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol checks among others is certain to be held again next year, Sabbs said. "We also look forward to seeing Ms. Adams again, too, next year."