October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This month is for increasing awareness of the disease and for increasing the importance of finding breast cancer early.
Breast cancer continues to be the second most common kind of cancer in women, after skin cancer. Breast cancer is also the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.
The American Cancer Society estimates that over 246,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women and over 40,000 women will die from breast cancer this year.
Early detection with a mammogram allows for breast cancers to be treated more successfully and with more options. Early detection also leads to less extensive surgery and better treatment outcomes.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women at average risk receive a regular mammogram screening for the early detection of breast cancer.
- Women ages 40 to 44 should have the opportunity to begin yearly screening with a mammogram, if they wish to do so.
- Women ages 45 to 54 should get a mammogram every year.
- Women ages 55 and older should switch to a mammogram every 2 years, or have the choice to continue yearly screening.
Women are considered at a high risk if they have:
- A personal history of breast cancer
- A family history of breast cancer
- A genetic mutation (such as BRCA) known to increase their risk of breast cancer
- Had radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30
If you are concerned about your risk for breast cancer or when to start breast cancer screening, talk with your doctor.
If you are concerned about the cost of a mammogram, the Wisconsin Well Woman Program (WWWP) provides breast cancer screenings for women ages 45 to 64 that are uninsured, or underinsured, and meet income guidelines. The WWWP also provides cervical cancer screenings.
To find out if you qualify for the WWWP, you may call Nichole Peplinski, PHN at 715-369-6119 located at the Oneida County Health Department.
More information can be found at: