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October 14, 2010                                                 


Connecticut Recognizes National Mammography Day on October 15th


Governor M. Jodi Rell today is urging all Connecticut women over the age of 40 to get a mammogram in conjunction with National Mammography Day on Friday, October 15.


“As a breast cancer survivor, I can attest to the importance of early detection,” said Governor M. Jodi Rell.  “I encourage women throughout the state to take a few moments to schedule a mammogram today.  It could save your life.” 


The state Department of Public Health (DPH) estimates that more than 500 women die in Connecticut each year from breast cancer. Nationwide, more than 40,000 women lose their battle with breast cancer each year.


“The practice of monthly self breast exams and annual breast cancer screenings can help detect breast cancer at its earliest stages of development, often resulting in less aggressive treatments and ultimately saving lives,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin.


National Mammography Day is recognized across the country to increase breast cancer awareness and promote mammography screenings for the early detection of breast cancer.  While deaths related to breast cancer are slowly decreasing over time, likely due to early detection and treatment, breast cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women.


The National Cancer Institute State Cancer Profiles show that Connecticut is second to Rhode Island for the highest rates of detecting new cases of breast cancer in the United States, yet Connecticut is 35th in the ranking for breast cancer related deaths, a testimonial for the importance of early detection.


The American Cancer Society recommends that all women aged 40 and older have a mammogram screening each year.  Mammograms are used to identify changes in a woman’s breast.  Mammogram screenings are X-ray exams used to detect breast cancer in women who may not complain of breast cancer symptoms.  By getting regular mammograms, doctors will be able to detect early stages of disease so that treatment may begin, increasing the chances of survival.


Women who can not afford regular mammograms may be eligible for free services.  The Connecticut Department of Public Health’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program is a comprehensive screening program available throughout Connecticut for women who have low income and who have no or limited health insurance.  For additional information or for contact information for local programs please visit the DPH website at or call (860) 509-7804. 


To view the American Cancer Society’s report, Breast Cancer Facts and Figures 2009-2010, go to