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October Breast Cancer Awareness Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  October 25, 2016
CONTACT:  Karen Cudmore, 605-773-3737

                                                       October Breast Cancer Awareness Month

PIERRE, S.D. – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and health officials are reminding women to talk with their health care providers about getting screened for breast cancer.

“The risk of breast cancer increases with age, so it’s important to talk to your provider about individualized screening recommendations. Mammography is the best way to safely detect breast cancer in its earliest, more treatable stages,” said Karen Cudmore, cancer programs director for the Department of Health.

The department’s All Women Count! Program provides mammograms and pap tests to women who meet age and income guidelines. Eligible women age 40 to 64 can receive a free mammogram and women 30-39 are eligible if preauthorized through All Women Count!

Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in South Dakota women and the second leading cause of cancer death. In 2013, the latest national data available, South Dakota’s breast cancer incidence rate of 146.1 per 100,000 was second highest in the nation, exceeded only by New Hampshire and followed by Delaware, Hawaii and Connecticut.

Cudmore said women can reduce their risk of breast cancer by controlling weight, exercising regularly, limiting time spent sitting, finding out the risks of hormone replacement therapy, limiting alcohol consumption and knowing family history of breast cancer. “Early detection can save lives and increase treatment options. That’s why it’s so important to discuss breast cancer screening with your health care provider,” said Cudmore.

Visit GetScreened.SD.gov/count/ to find out if you’re eligible for the All Women Count! Program.

Increasing the use of recommended, evidence-based preventive screening, including mammograms, is one objective of the Department of Health’s 2015-2020 strategic plan, http://doh.sd.gov/strategicplan.


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