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Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Little Rock, Ark. – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is encouraging women to talk with their healthcare providers about getting screened.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., one in eight women will develop breast cancer. It is the most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among women. In 2016, there were 2,247 new breast cancer cases and 400 breast cancer deaths in the state. However, Arkansas is ranked one of the lowest states (49th) for breast cancer screening, according to the American Cancer Society.
Beginning at age 40, women should be screened for breast cancer annually. From age 55-74, they should be screened every two years. Early diagnosis is important because women who are diagnosed at earlier stages have a greater chance of survival.
The BreastCare program has coordinated efforts with a statewide network of providers offering no cost screenings, diagnosis and follow-up services. To be eligible for BreastCare, women must live in Arkansas, have no health insurance, and have a household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. Eligible women age 21-64 can be screened for cervical cancer, and women age 40-64 can be screened for breast cancer. Women who do have insurance and would like to be screened in the BreastCare program must need the diagnostic tests and meet the income requirements.
In addition to screening and diagnostic services, BreastCare provides educational information to communities about the importance of regular breast exams as well as the risks associated with breast cancer. Help us to fight the battle against breast cancer by getting screened.
Ninety-one percent of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer while in the BreastCare program were found to have early stage cancer. This is significant in that cancers diagnosed at late stages are generally associated with poor outcomes and higher treatment costs. Breast and cervical screening services are imperative for early detection and better treatment outcomes.
Call 501-661-2942 or visit www.ARBreastCare.com to see if you are eligible and to find a provider. Chances are there’s a BreastCare provider near you.
For more information about BreastCare, visit www.healthy.arkansas.gov.