Breast Cancer is the most common cancer among women and affects the lives of all women regardless of age, race or nationality. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age, with three-quarters of all breast cancer cases occurring in women over the age of 50.
The best weapons we have in the fight against breast cancer are early detection and information. That is why I am writing to remind everyone that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). National Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in 1985 and the program has increased mammography rates for women age 50 and older by more than double, helping to reduce cancer deaths.
Every woman age 40 and over should have regular mammograms, and women over the age of 50 should have annual mammograms. Women should also do breast self-exams and be mindful of a number of symptoms. To learn more about which symptoms should raise concern, women can contact their physician or one of several breast cancer associations listed below.
According to the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Web site, if all women age 40 and older took advantage of early detection methods – mammography plus clinical breast exam – breast cancer death rates would drop much further, up to 30 percent. The key to mammography screening is getting tested regularly.
Please join me in the fight against breast cancer by reminding the women in your life of the importance of early detection and diagnosis in the fight against this horrible disease and urge them to get a mammogram.
For more information about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, please visit www.nbcam.org. For additional information, call the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345, National Cancer Institute at (800) 4-CANCER, or the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization at (800) 221-2141.