Did you know that only one out of every two women age 40 and older in the U.S. reported having a mammogram in the past year? That’s one of the statistics just released by the American Cancer Society. That’s a chilling statistic considering that the most significant risk factors for getting breast cancer are being female and getting older. A woman in the U.S. has a one in eight lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.
The good news is that you can take care of yourself and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Another fact released is that about 80 to 90 percent of breast cancers in women without symptoms in the U.S. will be detected by mammography. The 5-year survival rate for female breast cancer survivors has improved to 90 percent today. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 2.5 million women with a history of breast cancer were alive, either cancer free or undergoing treatment, in January 2006.
The lowest prevalence (about 33 percent) of mammography screening in the past two years occurred among women who do not have health insurance, followed by immigrant women who have lived in the U.S. for less than 10 years (50 percent).
Schedule your mammogram. Go to www.komen.org to learn more about risk factors and screening. Better yet, help to boost the screening rate for those women who are uninsured or under-insured. The Orange County Komen Fund for Breast Health and our Community Grant partners will help reach women in Orange County who need breast health information, screening and treatment. Donate at www.komenoc.org or register to attend a Komen event, like Race for the Cure on Sunday, September 26.