In 2011, there were 230,480 estimated new cases of breast cancer in women and 2,140 in men. The estimated deaths from breast cancer are 39,520 in women and 450 in men. The good news is with early detection the five-year survival for stage 0-1 breast cancer is 98.8 percent.
The American Cancer Society and several cancer organizations recommend that all women 40 years of age and older receive yearly screening mammograms.
Early checkups or screening tests such as a mammogram or Pap tests can reveal diseases early when they are much easier to treat. Screening tests and routine checkups can help women lower their risks of many health conditions.
Depending on a woman's age, certain important tests and exams can ensure good health and prevention. Women who take care of themselves typically live longer, healthier and happier lives. Women most often are primary caregivers and forget to focus on their own health.
Don't delay - now is the time to improve the health of your wives, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and girlfriends. Promote screening tests to the women you love and it will be the best gift you could ever give. If you or someone you love does not have health insurance or cannot afford these tests, there is a program out there to assist you.
Locally, the Cancer Services Program of Fulton and Montgomery Counties offers free breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings to women ages 40 to 64 and men ages 50 to 64 if these individuals do not have health insurance. Women can receive a free breast exam and mammogram through this program, as well as Pap testing.
People can contact Suzanne Hagadorn, program coordinator, at 841-3726 to see if they are eligible for these services.
Remember to take the time to encourage the women in your life to get their mammogram. Their life is worth it.
Women's imaging supervisor
St. Mary's Hospital