The American Cancer Society appreciates the Coastal Breeze for highlighting Breast Cancer Awareness throughout the month of October. While we continue to look for causes, treatments and cures for breast cancer there is one thing that all women should do as a preventative measure – and that is to get a mammogram. As you can see from the following statistics, the combination of mammograms and new treatments are saving lives and creating more birthdays. Let’s all pledge to get our mammograms by the end of the year as a present to ourselves.
Mammography Rates are Steady
After increasing for many years, the percentage of women getting mammograms has leveled off over the past decade.
Screening rates between 1987 and 2012:
• 1987: 29%
• 2005-2010: 67%
Who’s Not Getting Their Mammograms?
Regardless of overall mammography rates, there are still some groups of women who are not receiving these life saving screening tests.
• Of insured women, 29% are not getting their mammograms
• Of uninsured women, 68% are not getting their mammograms
• Of college graduates, 25% are not getting their mammograms
• Of those with less than 12 years of education, 48% are not getting their mammograms
More Birthdays Have Been Celebrated
With mammography and improvements in treatment, breast cancer death rates are dropping. That means that more than 17,000 more birthdays have been celebrated since 1991 that otherwise would have been lost to breast cancer.
• Breast cancer death rate: Down 33% between 1990 and 2009
• In 1990, there were 33 deaths per 100,000 women
• In 2009, there were 22 deaths per 100,000 women
Get Screened and Encourage Others
Mammograms can help find breast cancer early, when treatments are more likely to be successful. If you’re 40 or older, get a mammogram every year and invite your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to do the same. The Affordable Care Act requires that Medicare and all new health insurance plans fully cover screening mammograms without any out of pocket expense for patients. For help locating a free or low cost screening mammogram in our area call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.
If you would like to find out more about The American Cancer Society or would like to volunteer to serve on a committee or as a board member, please contact Lisa Honig at 239-642-8800 ext. 3891