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Health: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted by On October 09, 2017

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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For those who qualify, free breast and cervical cancer screenings are available through the St. Francois County Health Center as well as the East Missouri Action Agency.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time set aside to educate and inform about the causes, effects, prevention and treatment of breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in American women.

St. Francois County Health Center Assistant Director Amber Elliot said the institute’s data on the rate of breast cancer in St. Francois County indicates a higher average than that of the state. According to data collected by the institute between 2010 and 2014, St. Francois County’s rate of breast cancer is 132 per 100,000, compared to the Missouri average of 125.9.

She said those numbers also appear to suggest no change, meaning the breast cancer rate is neither getting better or worse.

The National Cancer Institute issues no guidelines for breast cancer detection, but according to its website, mammography is the most sensitive form of breast cancer screening. Mammograms provide an X-ray image of breast tissue, allowing radiologists to detect possible cancerous masses.

Also according to the institute, breast self-examination was not effective in reducing deaths from cancer in clinical trials, while “… studies show that screening mammography can help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer among women ages 40 to 74, especially for those over age 50.”

There are options for free or low-cost mammography to individuals in St. Francois County who find themselves in need of one.

Elliot said the St. Francois County Health Center employs a program that aims to provide women in need with breast and cervical cancer screenings.

“We do a program called ‘Show-Me Healthy Women,’” Elliot said. “It helps de tect breast cancer and cervical cancer in the early stages, when the diseases are easiest to treat. Free mammograms and pap smears are available for women that are age 35 and older, but they must meet income guidelines.”

Interested women can contact the St. Francois County Health Center at 573-431-1947.

Cancer screenings can also be obtained through the East Missouri Action Agency (EMAA) Women’s Wellness Center. For more information, call EMAA at 573-431-5191.

A-1 Home Care Owner Amy Keller said the Missouri Baptist Medical Center Mobile Mammography van will be coming to their office Oct. 25-26 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“They don’t necessarily have to be over 40 years old, because if there is a family history of it, they will also perform it for free,” said Keller. “That is a free mammogram and we are doing it in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

Keller said they have done this the last couple of years, but are doing it f or two days this year because they booked up so quickly last year.

“They only planned on being there for eight hours last year, but ended up staying for around 12 hours instead,” said Keller. “They told us since we have had such a huge response they decided to do it for two days this year.”

She added they are also going to have vendors this year. Pharmax Pharmacy will be there giving flu vaccines and other vendors will be there giving out information. There will also be free blood pressure checks and things like that.

Anyone interested in signing up for the free mammograms can call 1-800-870-5731 or 314-996-5170 to schedule an appointment. For more information contact Theresa Taylor at 314-956-9829 at Missouri Baptist Medical Center.

Similar to the Relay for Life, annual walks called “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” are held through the American Cancer Society. The nearest event will take place in St. Louis on Oct. 28. For more information v isit

Source: Google News

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