October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s a good time to remind people to get a checkup. As a result of treatment advancements, earlier detection through screenings, and increased awareness, there has been a decrease in death rates from breast cancer. However, women should discuss individual risk with their doctor and begin screenings accordingly. Most insurance companies cover the cost of mammograms. For those without insurance or the insurance does not cover, there are programs that provide mammograms for free. Here are some facts about breast cancer that are important to know:
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. women with about 252,710 new cases expected to be diagnosed in 2017.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the U.S. About 40,610 women are expected to die in 2017 from breast cancer.
- Annual screening mammograms are the best tool to detect breast cancer at its earliest stages and the single most important factor in reducing breast cancer mortality.
- Most women, about 8 out of 10, who get breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease. However, having a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with breast cancer almost doubles a woman’s risk. Having 2 first-degree relatives increases her risk about 3-fold.
- The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (though men can get breast cancer) and age. Personal behaviors, such as diet, exercise and drinking alcohol, as well as lifestyle factors, including decisions about having children, breast feeding, and taking medicines that contain hormones, play a role in developing breast cancer.
This month, to help eliminate all barriers preventing women from getting screened, our office has partnered with Uber to provide Staten Island women who don’t have a means of transportation to their screening appointments with a safe ride to and from their appointment. To get a free ride, call (718) 816-2198 and provide us with your name, address, and the date and location of your appointment. You will be given a single-use code to use in the Uber app for a free ride to and from the appointment.
There are no excuses. Get screened!