Friday, Oct. 15, 2004
State agencies set Oct. 20 for breast cancer focus
Governor Sonny Perdue and Georgias mayors are set to commemorate the second annual Breast Cancer Prevention and Awareness Day in Georgia Oct. 20 to acknowledge the importance of breast cancer screening in saving lives.
The Georgia Cancer Coalition and the Georgia Department of Human Resources launched the statewide commemoration last year. The month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Georgia is committed to educating our citizens about the importance of breast cancer screening, early detection, and healthy living, said Gov. Sonny Perdue. I encourage the people of Georgia to support the work of cancer prevention and detection. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the greater the chances for successfully treating the disease.
We are grateful to Governor Perdue and the mayors of Georgia for supporting Breast Cancer Prevention and Awareness Day. Their leadership is crucial to bringing much needed attention to preventing breast cancer, said coalition president Bill Todd. With regular screening, many lives can be saved. We want everyone to get this message and act on it. This special day is important in helping to do just that.
Health officials in DHR and ACS recommend that all women 40 and older have regular mammograms (x-ray of the breast). According to the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System published by DHR, Division of Public Health, approximately 20 percent of Georgia women 40 and older have not received breast cancer screenings in the past two years.
Being female and over 40 puts women at higher risk for developing the disease, said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., MPH, director, DHR, Division of Public Health. Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Prevention and Awareness Day are important reminders for women, their families and friends about the life saving practice of regular checkups. Everyone has to get involved to make a difference. Thats what this day is all about: getting personally involved to save lives.
Women 40 to 64 years of age who cannot afford a mammogram may be eligible to receive the health screenings they need at low or no cost through the BreasTEST & MORE program. This program is offered by DHR and administered through local health departments statewide. About 15,000 Georgia women receive screening services through BreasTEST & MORE each year. Since 1995, BreasTEST & MORE Program has helped more than 600 women to find out that they needed treatment for cancer.
To learn more about screening services and Breast Cancer Prevention and Awareness Day activities in your area call the Fayette County Health Department at 770-461-1178, or call 1-800-4CANCER (1-800-422-6237), or visit www.district4health.org or www.georgiacancer.org.
Copyright 2004-Fayette Publishing, Inc.