Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming to an end, but its message lasts throughout the year. As the pink ribbons fade out, remember that prevention and early detection of breast cancer saves lives. Since the first awareness month in October 1985, mammography rates have more than doubled for women age 50 and older and breast cancer deaths have declined.

“We know that prevention saves lives, that be engaging in a few simple steps, both women and men can reduce their risk for breast cancer,” says Karen Grindeland, Community health Education Specialist at CCHD. Prevention begins by knowing your risk, getting screened, knowing what is normal for you and making healthy choices.

Healthy behaviors such as physical activity, eating healthy foods, and reducing or eliminating alcohol and tobacco use can lower the risk of breast cancer and other types of cancers and chronic illnesses. Additionally, screening through mammograms and clinical breast exams at regular intervals promotes early detection, which can make all the difference in treatment and survival.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that there will be over 200,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed this year and just under 40,000 deaths. Comparatively, in 2009, those numbers were 192,000 cases diagnosed and over 40,000 deaths. These numbers suggest that more women will access screening services and that diagnosis will occur at an earlier stage thereby making survival more likely.

The City-County Health Department has a program that offers free and low cost mammograms to women that qualify. To see if you are eligible, contact Karen Grindeland today at 791-9272 or click to learn more about CCHD’s Breast Cancer Screening Program.