Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October Is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time when national public service organizations, medical associations and government agencies work together to promote breast cancer awareness and offer resources and access to services.

The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month organization's Web site is a great, year-round resource for breast cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and the general public. Important information on early detection and mammograms can be found in this recent press release from the group:

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). Since the program began in 1985, mammography rates have more than doubled for women aged 50 and older and breast cancer deaths have declined.

This is exciting progress, but there are still women who do not take advantage of early detection at all and others who do not get screening mammograms and clinical breast exams at regular intervals.

Women age 65 and older are less likely to get mammograms than younger women, even though breast cancer risk increases with age.
Hispanic women have fewer mammograms than Caucasian women and African-American women.
Women below the poverty line are less likely than women at higher incomes to have had a mammogram within the past two years.
Mammography use has increased for all groups except Native Americans and indigenous Alaskans.

If all women age 40 and older took advantage of early detection methods – mammography and clinical breast exams – breast cancer death rates would drop much further, up to 30 percent. The key to mammography screening is that it is done routinely – once is not enough.

For more information about NBCAM, please visit For additional information, please call one of the following toll-free numbers: The American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at 800-4-CANCER (800-422-6237) and the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization at 800-221-2141.

Another prominent organization is Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a global leader in the fight against breast cancer. The Connecticut affiliate of the group cooperates with 124 other affiliates worldwide. The organization works locally to fulfill a commitment to saving lives and ending breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for breast cancer patients and funding efforts to find cures. The Connecticut branch's primary focus is on the local community and educating the women and men in Connecticut.

Did you know that Connecticut has the second-highest incidence of breast cancer in the US? For other facts, read the group’s 2011 community profile of breast heath in Connecticut.

The upcoming Survivors in Fashion Show is s major event to benefit breast cancer programs. It will take place at Foxwoods on Oct. 20. The casino’s Fox Theatre will host 25 women who will take your breath away. Join them for an evening of hope and inspiration featuring breast cancer survivors as both fashion models and role models. All of the funds raised by this show will be directed to the breast cancer survivors fund at Norwich’s William W. Backus Hospital and patients in the local community. Visit this page for ticket and other information.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer takes place on Oct. 23 at Hartford's Bushnell Park. Each step you take is personal, and each dollar you raise will help save lives as folks walk (not race) the 3.2-mile course. People of all ages are welcome to participate and help raise funds. If you'd like to join the efforts to help end breast cancer, sign up by visiting or call 800-227-2345.

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