Now is the time to schedule a cancer screening
It’s October. It’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In 2011, the American Cancer Society’s estimates for cancer in Fulton and Montgomery counties are as follows:
1) Fulton County residents — seven individuals are diagnosed with cancer each week.
2) Montgomery County residents — six individuals are diagnosed with cancer each week.
Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer in cancer deaths among women in the United States. The chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about one in eight. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about one in 35.
The American Cancer Society’s recent studies suggest that many women in the United States are not following recommended guidelines for mammography screening by having their first screening later than recommended, not having one at recommended intervals, or not receiving appropriate and timely follow-up of positive screening results.
With this in mind, women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health. After age 40, women should have a breast exam by a health expert every year as well.
My hope is that because October creates awareness of breast cancer, that each and every woman will take the time to get her breast exam and mammogram. Cancer screening and early detection saves lives! If you do not have health insurance, the Cancer Services Program of Fulton and Montgomery Counties offer free breast exams and mammograms to women age 40-64.
We also offer Pap tests and pelvic exams for women 40-64, as well as colon cancer screening kits to men and women 50-64, if eligible.
Please contact me at 841-3726, to see if you are eligible for a free screening.
The writer is the program coordinator.