October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

Oct. 1, 2004

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 

The Board of Supervisors will proclaim October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Fairfax County at the regularly scheduled board meeting beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 18. National Mammography Day is celebrated on Friday, Oct. 15. On this day, or throughout the month, some radiologists provide discounted or free mammograms. Representatives from the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer support group and the Vietnamese Resettlement Association, which operates the only free mammography clinic in Northern Virginia, will appear before the Board to receive the proclamation.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Catherine Hudgins said significant progress has been made against this devastating disease. She asked that Fairfax County celebrate and embrace survivors while encouraging women to be proactive in early detection, diagnosis and treatment. She noted that the community is fortunate to have caring individuals who are available to support breast cancer patients and provide mammography services for uninsured, low-income women.

Since the national awareness program began 20 years ago, mammography rates have more than doubled for women age 50 and older (from 25 percent in 1987 to 69 percent in 1998) and breast cancer deaths have declined by 1.6 percent between 1989 and 1995. Women are encouraged to get regular mammograms and clinical breast exams.

The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month’s Web site provides extensive breast cancer information in both English and Spanish. For example:
• Women age 65 and older are less likely to get mammograms than younger women (55 percent versus 65 percent for women age 40 - 49), even though breast cancer risk increases with age.
• Hispanic women have fewer mammograms (63 percent) than Caucasian women (74 percent) and African American women (76 percent).
• Women below poverty level are less likely than women at higher incomes to have had a mammogram within the past two years (44 percent versus 65 percent, respectively).

For information about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month or breast cancer in general, please visit www.nbcam.org. For more information about Virginia’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, send e-mails to Breast_Cancer@vdh.state.va.us or visit www.vahealth.org/breastcancer. For information about local support groups and free mammograms contact the American Cancer Society in Vienna at 703-938-5550, TTY 711.


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