Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October 5th, 2015
Breast cancer is the number one cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in Arkansas. However, mortality rates are on the decline. We know that screening makes early detection and treatment possible and successful.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.
This month is perfect opportunity to remind Arkansans about the BreastCare program with the Arkansas Department of Health.
BreastCare provides breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services for eligible Arkansas women. If you qualify, you can receive mammograms, clinic breast exams, and pelvic exams at no cost.
BreastCare’s mission is to increase the rate of early detection of breast and cervical cancer in Arkansas by lowering barriers to screening that result from lack of information, financial means, or access to quality services.
The Arkansas Department of Health received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1993 to create the BreastCare program. In 1995, ADH received federal funds to provide eligible women with breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services. Since that time thousands of Arkansans have benefitted from early detection. Last year alone the program provided services to more than 9,500 women.
Because early stage breast cancer can be treated more successfully and cost-effectively, early detection is critical. A regular screening mammogram is the best tool we currently have to help assure breast cancer is detected early.
Over 80% of the women who received a diagnosis of breast cancer while in the BreastCare program had an early stage cancer. The high costs and poor outcomes associated with late stage diagnosis and treatment make the case for regular breast cancer screening stronger than ever.
For more information on the program and breast cancer screenings visit www.healthy.arkansas.gov.