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Physician urges early detection

Shawnta Speer, a hematology/oncology physician with Phoebe Cancer Center, spoke at the Friday luncheon meeting of the Exchange Club of Albany.

Shawnta Speer, a hematology/oncology physician with Phoebe Cancer Center, spoke at the Friday luncheon meeting of the Exchange Club of Albany.

ALBANY, Ga. — A physician with Phoebe Cancer Center hit a light note to start her talk about the serious subject of breast cancer at the Exchange Club of Albany Friday.

Although the Exchange Club is no longer exclusively male, Shawnta Speer said she had a reason to speak on the subject to men as well as women.

“I guess men love breasts, so it will be appropriate,” Speer said. “But Breast cancer is rare but does occur in men.”

Audience members did note that although the club is mostly men, nearly everyone at the lunch had a wife or a sister — and definitely a mother. Everyone paid more than merely polite attention to Speer.

“My point is to emphasize early detection,” Speer said. “It is important that you guys talk to your women and make sure that they examine themselves and visit the doctor yearly.”

Speer said that if caught in the early stages, the breast cancer survival rate is better than 90 percent. If it spreads through the region of the breast, the survival rate is more than 80 percent.

Running through the various treatments for the second-leading cause of death in women, Speer said that Phoebe Oncology Services offers the best in the field.

In other business the Exchangites discussed the American Kennel Club Southern Heritage Hunt & Show, or “Coon Hunt” for short, on Jan. 25-26.

The hunt is a first-time event for the Exchangites after having run the United Kennel Club’s Winter Classic for 25 years. That event moved to Mississippi.

Joe Brown, the Exchange chairman of the AKC event, said it will start smaller than the previous events. He does see it growing over the years.

One thing will not change. The club is in charge of food at the event for the public, as well as the participants. There will be plenty of hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage dogs, roast beef, chicken strips and more.

And you can bet on the members’ wives, mothers sisters and culinary-inclined friends on baking their finest cakes, cookies and other goods for sale to support the Exchangites avowed purpose of fighting child abuse.

Hunt participants make note that this is a 2013 world qualifying hunt for a place in the world championship. Trophies, jackets, pins, and other prizes will be awarded.

To encourage participation the event will allow vendors to set up and sell wares, no food please, for free this first year. If electricity is needed there will be a nominal $25 charge.

Contact Skip Nichols at (229) 809-0231 or Ralph Paustian at (229) 343-8411 for vendor spaces and information.