It's October. It's also breast cancer awareness month.
In 2011, the American Cancer Society's estimates for cancer in Fulton and Montgomery Counties were:
Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer in cancer deaths among women in the U.S. The chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about 1 in 8. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 35.
The American Cancer Society's recent studies suggest many women in the U.S. are not following recommended guidelines for mammography screening by having their first screening later than recommended, not having one at recommended intervals or not receiving appropriate and timely follow-up of positive screening results.
With this in mind, women ages 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health. After age 40, women should have a breast exam by a health expert every year as well.
My hope is that because October creates awareness of breast cancer, that each and every woman will take the time to get her breast exam and mammogram. Cancer screening and early detection saves lives.
If you do not have health insurance, the Cancer Services Program of Fulton and Montgomery Counties offer free breast exams and mammograms to women ages 40 to 64.
We also offers Pap tests and pelvic exams for women ages 40 to 64, as well as colon cancer screening kits to men and women 50 to 64, if eligible.
Please call 841-3726 to see if you are eligible for a free screening.
Program coordinator, Cancer Services
Program of Fulton and Montgomery Counties