This year, the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign celebrates 21 years of educating women about breast cancer, especially the importance of detecting the disease in its earliest stages through screening mammography.
The number of women obtaining mammograms has more than doubled since the 1980's, and most states require health insurers to cover the cost.
Breast cancer continues to casts its troubling shadow on so many of our families, touching our mothers and daughters, our sisters, friends, teachers and co-workers. Studies show that breast cancer is often the chief health worry for American women and for good reason.
Women are vulnerable to the disease, especially as we grow older. It is the most common cancer in women, and falls second to lung cancer as a leading cause of cancer death.
Unfortunately, fears of discovering the disease or the lack of information, health insurance, transportation or childcare keep many women from taking advantage of mammography screening at regular intervals.
Once is not enough. Women of racial and ethnic minorities, older women, and women living in rural areas are least likely to be screened routinely.
Mammography screening is the best available method for detecting breast cancer early.
Repeat screening is less common than initial screening.
In 2000, 76 percent of women age 40 and older had at least one mammogram, while 71 percent had one within the previous two years, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Women should be reminded of the importance of mammography screening performed at regular intervals.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is dedicated to increasing awareness of breast cancer issues, especially the importance of early detection.
It works through a nationwide education campaign aimed at the general public, state, and federal governments, health care professionals, employers, and women of all ages and ethnic groups.
Join the local community during the month of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as we reach out to all women of all ages with our important messages about early detection and the value of early treatment if breast cancer is detected.