October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.
To date in 2011, over 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer have been diagnosed in women; 39,520 deaths are anticipated.
Breast cancer death rates have been going down. This is probably the result of finding the cancer earlier and the development of better treatment. Right now there are more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. Kirkland Cancer Center offers women educational events and free screenings to help prevent and detect breast cancer early.
Women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year and should keep doing them as long as they are in good health. While some cancers can be missed by mammogram, they are still a very important part of early detection.
Medicare, Tenncare, and most private health plans cover all or part of the cost of a mammogram. Breast cancer testing is available to women without health insurance and women whose insurance does not cover mammograms at East Jackson Family Medical Center through a program called Tennessee Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. This program assists women with mammograms as well as pap smears. Please call 731-425-7900 to schedule an appointment and see if you are eligible for this free service.