LIVINGSTON COUNTY — In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Livingston County Department of Health and The Cancer Services Program are teaming up with Noyes Health to offer two free days of Mammogram screenings to the public.
According to a press release from the Livingston County Department of Health, Noyes Health Services of Geneseo will hold a Day of Screening on Oct. 24, while Noyes Memorial Hospital of Dansville will hold a Day of Screening on Oct. 27. These screenings are available to all despite insurance status.
“Each woman needs to be aware of her personal risk for breast cancer and make an informed decision with her doctor about when and how often she should be screened,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, Public Health Director of the Livingston County Department of Health.
A Clinical Breast Exam is required prior to getting a mammogram. To make an appointment, please call 1-800-588-8670. Uninsured women who are 40 years of age and older may also be able to get breast cancer screening through the Cancer Services Program of Livingston & Wyoming County at (585) 786-8890.
It is estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her life. Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women in New York State. Each year in New York, nearly 15,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 2,700 women die from the disease.
Regularly scheduled breast cancer screening increases the chances that cancer is found in its earliest stages. Any woman who is at high risk for breast cancer, as determined by a doctor, may need to begin screening earlier. Any woman, or man, who has symptoms or changes in their breasts should schedule an appointment with their doctor immediately.
“Great advances have been made in early detection and treatment of breast cancer, and many women diagnosed with the disease are living long, healthy lives,” said Rodriguez.
Although breast cancer mostly occurs among older women, in rare cases breast cancer does affect women under the age of 45. About 11% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age. While very rare, it is possible for men to get breast cancer.
The causes of breast cancer are still unknown, but there are some factors that may increase a woman’s chances of getting the disease. These include: getting older, having a first menstrual period younger than the age of 12, starting menopause older than 55 years of age, never giving birth, giving birth to a first child after age 30, not breastfeeding, having had breast cancer or some non-cancerous breast diseases, having a close family member who has had breast cancer, having certain gene mutations such as BRCA 1 or BRCA 2, being overweight or obese, drinking alcohol, not getting enough exercise, exposure to high levels of ionizing radiation to the chest area early in life, and long-term use of hormone replacement therapy.
Even if a woman has one or more of these risk factors, it does not mean she will get breast cancer. And, women with few or no risk factors may develop breast cancer. This is why screening is important for all women.
Visit the New York State Department of Health website for more information about breast cancer, including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.