Health department: Friday is National Mammography Day
In conjunction with National Mammography Day, which is Friday, the Department of Public Health is urging women to schedule an appointment for a mammogram. No-cost screenings are available for Connecticut women who qualify.
Mammogram screenings are x-ray exams used to detect breast cancer in women who may not show or be aware of breast cancer symptoms. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all women ages 50 to 74 to have a mammogram screening every two years. Women ages 40 to 49 years should discuss with their health care provider whether and how often they should get screened.
“Many factors over the course of a lifetime can influence your breast cancer risk, but you can lower your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health. Mammography can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Talk to your doctor about which breast cancer screening tests are right for you, and when you should have them.” said Lisa McCooey, Director of DPH’s Comprehensive Cancer Program in a news release. “Getting screened regularly could save your life.”
Residents who cannot afford regular mammograms may be eligible for free services. The Connecticut Department of Public Health’s Early Detection and Prevention Program provides breast cancer screenings at locations throughout Connecticut for women with no or low income and who have no or limited health insurance.
The American Cancer Society estimates nearly 40,610 women in the United States will die this year from breast cancer and that almost 430 will be right here in Connecticut.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women of all races and ethnicities. In Connecticut, the incidence of breast cancer in women in 2009 through 2013 was 138 per 100,000 women — the third highest rate in the US. The breast cancer mortality rate for Connecticut women for 2009 through 2013 was 19.1 per 100,000 women — the 13th lowest rate in the US. These rates highlight the importance of detecting breast cancer early when treatments are more effective.
To find the closest CEDPP program, go to www.ct.gov/dph/earlydetection or call 860-509-7804.