Pink is the color of October. Many Americans are wearing pink to draw attention to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during their lives.
And the American Cancer Society says nearly 80 percent of all breast cancer cases involve women who are 50 or older.
Chances are you know someone who has or has had breast cancer. Early detection and new treatment options may have saved their lives. In fact, physicians say early detection is vital for lowering the mortality rates for the disease.
Local health officials would like to see the mortality rate for breast cancer cut in half in the Tri-Cities over the next decade. To make it happen, volunteers have focused on getting women to do three important things: Schedule regular mammograms, have a clinical breast exam once a year and conduct self-exams every month.
Health care officials encourage women in risk groups to make an appointment this month for a mammogram. Such screening is believed to be the single most effective method of early detection. That’s why county health departments across Tennessee provide vouchers for free mammograms to women who meet certain income guidelines.
For information on these free mammograms, call the Tennessee Breast and Cervical Cancer Awareness Program at 877-969-6636, or call the National Cancer Institute at 800-422-6237.