There is a whirlwind of health related news going on, but don’t forget that October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the National Cancer Institute, there will be an estimated 234,580 new cases of breast cancer in 2013, resulting in 40,030 deaths. The good news is that America’s Health Centers have been footsoldiers in the war against breast cancer for a very long time, providing screening, as well as outreach and education services that can lead to early detection so critical for surviving the disease. Health centers also provided 397,404 mammograms to 369,953 patients last year.
The top five states with the most patients receiving breast cancer screenings at Community Health Centers are California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, and West Virginia.
Many breast cancer risk factors cannot be avoided, such as genes, gender, and age. But you can reduce your risk by avoiding tobacco and drinking alcohol only in moderation. Also, eat healthy and get regular exercise.
But the most important thing to know is mammography is the best screening method for detecting breast cancer in its earliest forms, and can detect possible tumors years before a woman can feel an actual lump. It is recommended that women 40 years and older receive a screening mammogram every year.