Decoding the Latest Recommendations for Breast Cancer Screening


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According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. Breast cancer experts all agree by far that the best way to protect women is with early and frequent screening. However, recent changes to screening guidelines by the American Cancer Society have left women wondering, “When is the best time to get a mammogram?”

In 2015, the American Cancer Society recommended that women with average risk for developing breast cancer begin getting annual mammograms at age 45 (up from age 40), then change to biannually at age 55. To support the changes, the American Cancer Society cites the cost of false positives leading to unnecessary additional tests and anxiety for women.

Dr. Jay Baker, M.D., chief of the Division of Breast Imaging at Duke University Medical Center, says the new recommendations are unfortunate. “False positives may create more anxiety for women. That phone call from a physician is never a welcome one,” he says. “But data clearly shows that screening every year, starting at age 40, saves more lives.”

Baker says mammograms can detect cancer at an earlier stage than a patient or even provider can detect during an exam. “When we find cancers earlier, they’re smaller,” he says. “If we can catch cancer when it’s small and before it can spread, treatments are less invasive and hugely successful.”

Since widespread screening began in the 1980s, Baker says the number of women who have died from breast cancer has decreased by 40 percent. He adds that the exception to these recommendations is the patient with an increased risk of breast cancer. Women with a first-degree relative who has or had breast cancer (a mother, sister or daughter, for example) have a higher risk of developing breast cancer themselves. In that case and if possible, women should begin screening 10 years earlier than the age of the relative’s diagnosis.

In another surprising statement, the American Cancer Society found little evidence that breast exams (either self-exams or exams conducted by a provider) benefit a woman in screening for cancer. Baker says this is because few cancers are first discovered with a physical exam, unless they’re large and advanced. However, he clarifies that if a woman detects a lump, she should contact her physician to check it out.

Baker recommends that whether women decide to get their first mammogram at age 40 or 45, they start talking to their providers about breast cancer screening at age 40. The following organizations can also connect patients with low-cost or free mammograms.


The Five Stages of Breast Cancer and Treatments

Stage 0

  • Noninvasive.
  • Comes in two forms: Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS), located in milk-producing glands, and Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), located in the breast ducts.

Treatment

LCIS is not a precancer, but a provider may still remove the tissue to be certain only LCIS is present. Having LCIS increases your risk for developing cancer in the future. Post surgery, patients should have annual mammograms and breast exams. Hormone mediction and other preventative steps, like lifestyle improvements, may also be recommended.

DCIS won’t spread outside the breast, but can develop into invasive cancer. Surgery to remove the tissue and radiation are usually recommended. Depending on the type of DCIS, patients may require a hormone treatment, which reduces the risk of the cancer returning.


Stage I

  • Invasive but small.
  • Either the cancer hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes or it has only spread to a small area in one lymph node.
  • Requires surgery along with radiation.
  • Chemotherapy and hormone treatments may also be necessary, depending on the type of cancer.

Treatment

Two forms of surgery are available for most tumors. Breast Conservation Surgery, also known as a lumpectomy, saves as much breast tissue as possible. The second option, a mastectomy, removes the entire breast. Patients can choose to complete breast reconstruction surgery at the same time as a mastectomy. If radiation is required after surgery, however, patients may choose to complete reconstructive breast surgery at a later date.


Stage II

  • Affected area is larger than it is in stage 1.
  • Cancer has spread to more than one lymph node.

Treatments
Treatments include surgery and radiation, along with chemotherapy and hormone treatments.


Stage III

  • Tumor has grown to a size more than 2 inches across.
  • Tumor may have also spread into several lymph nodes or nearby tissue, including the muscle wall or skin.
  • Though uncommon, stage III can also include inflammatory breast cancers (when cancer cells block lymph node vessels in the skin).

Treatment

Often, a mastectomy is necessary to remove the tumor(s), followed by radiation or chemotherapy and hormone treatments.

With inflammatory breast cancer, the breast may be warm to the touch, appear red and swollen, and have the pitted appearance of an orange peel. Aggressive treatments are used, since inflammatory cancer can spread quickly. A modified radical mastectomy is usually recommended, in which the entire breast and lymph nodes are removed.


Stage IV

  • Considered advanced.
  • Tumor has spread into the lymph nodes and throughout the body.
  • Breast cancer most commonly spreads first to the bones, liver and lungs, followed by the brain and other organs.

Treatment

The first line of defense for Stage IV patients is often systemic drug and hormone therapies, including chemotherapy. Surgery is less effective. Stage IV cancer is difficult to cure. However, treatment can slow or shrink tumors, improve symptoms and prolong patients’ lives.

 

Source: The American Cancer Society

 

Learn More

American Cancer Society

National Breast Cancer Foundations’ National Mammography Program

National Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program

The National Cancer Institute

Susan G. Komen® North Carolina Triangle to the Coast

 

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Calendar

February 2018

Run Club meets every Sunday at 8 a.m. in Midtown Raleigh or Wake Forest. Stroller friendly; children invited. 

Cost: $10/run or $100/annual pass

Where:
Optimist Park Community Center/Greenways
5900 Whittier Drive
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: FIT4MOM
Telephone: 919-348-0472
Contact Name: Missy Currin
Website »

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Enjoy a free slideshow of the birds of Yates Mill Pond. Over 150 photographs of birds are featured in the show, along with a few mammals. This slideshow, which has accompanying...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

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Join park staff in collecting data for the 21st annual Great Backyard Bird Count. We will look and listen for birds in a variety of habitats, and keep track of how many individuals of each species...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville , NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

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The Wake County New Vehicle Dealers Association brings the world of cars and trucks to Raleigh. See hybrids, electric cars, SUVs, compacts, luxury vehicles and more. At the expo, the Carolina...

Cost: $10/adult, $5/preteen. Free for ages 5 and younger

Where:
Dorton Arena
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Website »

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Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about tummy time alternatives, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to...

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
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Parent and child spend time collaborating in a playful workshop that weaves music, color and improvisation. All ages. RSVP required by emailing admissions@studioschooldurham.org.

Cost: Free

Where:
Studio School of Durham
1201 W. Woodcroft Pkwy.
Durham, NC  27713
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Sponsor: Studio School of Durham
Contact Name: Danielle Clark
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Celebrate Black and African-American artists and stories. Ages 5-11 and caregiver.

Cost: Free

Where:
N.C. Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
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Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
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Cost: $10/person; free for ages 3 and younger

Where:
Spring Haven Farm
5306 Homer Ruffin Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
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Shop for gently used children's clothing, juniors', ladies', and teen boys' clothing, toys, educational materials, infant equipment, nursery furniture, maternity wear and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Morrisville Outlet Mall
1001 Airport Blvd.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Kids EveryWEAR Consignment Sale
Contact Name: Gail Walker
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Carolina Ballet presents Shakespeare’s story of star-crossed lovers, dueling families, intrigue, deception and a tragic twist of fate. Dramatic sword fights, stunning costumes and...

Cost: $32 and up

Where:
Fletcher Theater
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601


Website »

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Carolina Ballet presents Shakespeare’s story of star-crossed lovers, dueling families, intrigue, deception and a tragic twist of fate. Dramatic sword fights, stunning costumes and...

Cost: $32 and up

Where:
Fletcher Theater
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601


Website »

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Carolina Ballet presents Shakespeare’s story of star-crossed lovers, dueling families, intrigue, deception and a tragic twist of fate. Dramatic sword fights, stunning costumes and...

Cost: $32 and up

Where:
Fletcher Theater
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601


Website »

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Go nutty for nature as children satisfy some of their curiosity about the world around them and parents share in the joy of discovery. Ages 3-5 with parent. Register online.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Join a park naturalist on a one-mile hike around Yates Mill Pond and help to identify and count the birds that we see along the way. Learn how to identify backyard birds by sight, sound and other...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Learn about the use of birds in national symbols and make your own bird-themed Great Seal to take home. Drop-in program. All ages. Registration not required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Join park staff in collecting data for the 21st annual Great Backyard Bird Count. We will look and listen for birds in a variety of habitats, and keep track of how many individuals of each species...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville , NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

Enjoy a free slideshow of the birds of Yates Mill Pond. Over 150 photographs of birds are featured in the show, along with a few mammals. This slideshow, which has accompanying...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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4709 Ten Ten Rd.
Apex, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

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Shop for gently used children's clothing, juniors', ladies', and teen boys' clothing, toys, educational materials, infant equipment, nursery furniture, maternity wear and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
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1001 Airport Blvd.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Kids EveryWEAR Consignment Sale
Contact Name: Gail Walker
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Join park staff for games and activities in celebration of the Great Backyard Bird Count. Ages 5 and older. Register online. 

Cost: Free

Where:
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Raleigh, NC  27614
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Take the fast track to nature in this hands-on study of ecology. Ages 8-12. Register online.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Cost: Free

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4709 Ten Ten Rd.
Apex, NC
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919.387.4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

There are many kinds of raptors or birds of prey that call Harris Lake County Park home. Some stay all year like the Bald Eagle and others like the Osprey live here only part of the year. Discover...

Cost: Free

Where:
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2112 County Park Dr.
New HIll, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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3501 Highway 54 W.
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View map »


Sponsor: Our PlayHouse Preschool
Telephone: (919) 967-2700
Contact Name: Elizabeth Lenn
Website »

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Get snug in the farmhouse and listen to a nature story. Explore nature items and make a themed craft. Ages 3-5 with caregiver. Advance registration required online. Choose course #215883.

Cost: $2/person

Where:
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2900 Horse Shoe Farm Rd.
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See William Shakespeare's classical masterpiece brought to life on stage by director Leo Egger, who lends his own unique vision to production. Tickets are available at the door...

Cost: $10/person

Where:
Durham School Of The Arts Blackbox Theater
400 N. Duke St.
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Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
Cary Senior Center Ballroom
120 Maury O'Dell Place
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See L.M. Montgomery’s beloved novel "Anne of Green Gables" come to life in this stage adaptation by Peter DeLaurier. Enjoy the misadventures of Anne Shirley, a...

Cost: $12/adult, $6/ages 18 and younger

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Telephone: 919-553-1737
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Cost: $10/person

Where:
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Durham, NC  27707
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Website »

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Cost: $30

Where:
Baby + Company
226 Ashville Ave
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Telephone: 773-495-8117
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

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Read "Secret Pizza Party" by Adam Rubin and make personalized pizzas. Register online. Choose course #109612.

Cost: $23/resident, $30/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
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Website »

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A wonderfully kid-paced hour featuring music, play and dancing with toddler stars singing on the mic at Cotton's gently amplified & participatory music show. Children delight in...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Pump It Up Raleigh
10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
View map »


Sponsor: Pump it Up
Telephone: 919-828-3344
Contact Name: Owner/manager Kellie Paterson McHugh
Website »

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Ages 5 and older enjoy an astronomy program that begins with an indoor presentation and moves outdoors after sunset to view the moon, stars, and more with the preserve's telescope,...

Cost: $3

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
Website »

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Historic Stagville and Morehead Planetarium will present a stellar program that focuses on the astronomy and night sky myths and legends told in African cultures, as well as the related stories...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Stagville
5828 Old Oxford Hwy.
Durham, NC  27712
View map »


Telephone: 919-620-0120
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See L.M. Montgomery’s beloved novel "Anne of Green Gables" come to life in this stage adaptation by Peter DeLaurier. Enjoy the misadventures of Anne Shirley, a...

Cost: $12/adult, $6/ages 18 and younger

Where:
The Clayton Center
111 E. Second St.
Clayton, NC  27520
View map »


Sponsor: Clayton Youth Theater
Telephone: 919-553-1737
Website »

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Cost: $45-$175

Where:
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Telephone: 919.996.8700
Contact Name: Blake Jones
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See William Shakespeare's classical masterpiece brought to life on stage by director Leo Egger, who lends his own unique vision to production. Tickets are available at the door...

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Where:
Durham School Of The Arts Blackbox Theater
400 N. Duke St.
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Applause! Cary Youth Theatre presents the tale of Scraps, who intends to go her own way until she happens onto an adventure that broadens her understanding of herself and the world around....

Cost: See website for fees

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Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
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Relive the magical adventure of Harry Potter's second year at school like never before. This concert features "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" in high-definition while...

Cost: $50-$80

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Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E South St.
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The tribute band Rain celebrates the 50th anniversary of the release of "Sgt Pepper's Lonley Hearts Club Band" by performing the historic album in its entirety in a psychedelic...

Cost: $35-$89

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Enjoy a beautiful morning on this easy-paced bird walk at Horseshoe Farm. We’ll likely see birds that frequent meadows and forests as we make our way around the unique habitats at...

Cost: Free

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2900 Horse Shoe Farm Rd.
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Cost: $55/child

Where:
SMILE Camp
6301 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC  27606
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Sponsor: SMILE Camp
Telephone: 919-538-5278
Contact Name: Sheila Marsh
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Celebrate Black and African-American artists and stories. Ages 5-11 and caregiver.

Cost: Free

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N.C. Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Future Tigers, 'retired' Tigers and Tiger Fans of all ages can have a turn to take 10 swings at the plate for a $5 donation.  A prize of Tiger apparel and an autographed Tiger baseball...

Cost: $5 for 10 swings

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Chapel Hill High School
1709 High School Rd.
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Sponsor: Chapel Hill High School Baseball Team
Telephone: 856-952-3054
Contact Name: Coach Lee Land
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Children make treasured memories while increasing their knowledge of plants and animals. Ages 7-10. Register online.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

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Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
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Celebrate literature during Black History Month at the State Capitol, and hear the words and experiences of African-Americans echo through a structure built by African-Americans. The program...

Cost: Free

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North Carolina State Capitol
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The fifth annual Marbles Future Me Kids Career Fair introduces children to an architect, dentist, engineer and many other professionals representing a wide variety of...

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Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
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New York Times bestselling author and distinguished scholar Carole Boston Weatherford discusses how American history and cultural evolution is shaped by slavery, segregation and...

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Cameron Village Library
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Explore the historic heart of downtown Raleigh on a walking tour of Fayetteville Street. Tours highlight the people, places, architecture and political movements that have shaped...

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The ArtsCenter
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The Scrap Exchange
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See William Shakespeare's classical masterpiece brought to life on stage by director Leo Egger, who lends his own unique vision to production. Tickets are available at the door...

Cost: $10/person

Where:
Durham School Of The Arts Blackbox Theater
400 N. Duke St.
Durham, NC  27707
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Enjoy a family-friendly comedy show from The Un-Intentionals Improv Troupe. Purchase food and beverages at the The Comedy Cafe before, during and after the show.

Cost: Free

Where:
First Baptist Church Morrisville
209 Church St.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: The Un-Intentionals
Telephone: 919-475-4211
Contact Name: Marc Moore
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The Town of Cary’s 22nd annual celebration of African-American history and heritage features live entertainment and informative discussion. See the website for hours and fees. 

Where:
The Cary Theater
122 E. Chatham St.
Cary, NC  27511
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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2017-18 Education Guide offers 660 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our debut Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. Plus, find out who our 2017 Readers' Favorites are.