The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recognizes October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
One out of every eight women will get breast cancer at some point in her lifetime.
Here are the startling statistics: More than 200,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer during 2010 and nearly 40,000 women will die of the disease.
In Kansas, 1,916 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 (the most recent year for which statistics are available).
This is more than any other type of cancer except for skin cancer. Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women.
While having a first degree family history can double a woman’s risk of breast cancer, it is also true that 70-80 percent of all women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.
Here's how women can prevent it: A woman’s chance of survival is best if cancer is detected early, before it spreads to other parts of the body. In fact, when breast cancer is found early the five year survival rate is 98 percent.
Women are encouraged to talk with their health care providers about what screening tests are right for them and when to have them.
The best screening tool for breast cancer is a mammogram.
Several lifestyle recommendations may reduce the risk of breast cancer. These include: Avoiding tobacco, staying active, maintaining a healthy body weight, limiting alcohol intake to one or fewer drinks per day, and increasing fiber intake with whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
KDHE Prevention Works:
KDHE promotes breast cancer screening and provides services for age appropriate, low income, uninsured women through its Early Detection Works (EDW) program.
Free breast screening for women who are between 40-64 years of age, without insurance and have a limited income. The program serves about 6,000 women each year.
Approximately 27,000 women in Kansas between the ages of 40 and 64 are eligible for this program.
EDW provides clinical breast exams and mammograms as well as pap smears through a network of providers across the state.
Should breast cancer or cervical cancer be diagnosed through this program, Medicaid through the Federal Treatment Act pays for treatment.
Prevention Works Information:
For information about the program visit www.preventionworkskansas.com .
Women seeking these services may call toll free 1-877-277-1368 to see if they qualify.
For more Kansas cancer information and resources, visit www.cancerkansas.org.