October 16 is National Mammography Day
Free breast cancer screenings are available for women who qualify
In conjunction with National Mammography Day, October 16th, 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.
“Mammograms are the best tests for finding breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before the cancer can be felt upon examination,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “When their breast cancer is found early, many women go on to live long and healthy lives. Getting screened could save your life.”
Residents who cannot afford regular mammograms may be eligible for free services. The Connecticut Department of Public Health’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program provides cancer screenings at locations throughout Connecticut for women who have low income and who have no or limited health insurance.
The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 450 women in Connecticut will die this year from breast cancer. Nationally, more than 40,000 additional women will also lose their lives to the disease. These numbers warrant attention because when detected early, a woman’s chance of surviving breast cancer increases. Breast cancer screening exams can help detect the disease at its earliest stages of development, often resulting in less aggressive treatments and ultimately saving lives.
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, regardless of race or ethnicity. The National Cancer Institute State Cancer Profiles show that Connecticut has the sixth highest rate of detecting new cases of breast cancer in the United States (including 50 states and District of Columbia), demonstrating the importance of early detection.
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.
To find a program near you, go to www.ct.gov/dph/breast&cervical or call (860) 509-7804.
National Mammography Day is recognized across the country on the third Friday of each October to increase breast cancer awareness and promote mammogram screenings for the early detection of breast cancer.