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FOR RELEASE: September 25, 2001
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

Early Detection of Breast Cancer Saves Lives

The Oklahoma State Department of Health encourages women to celebrate good health by treating themselves to life-saving early detection practices in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

According to the National Cancer Institute, one in eight American women will develop breast cancer. Research shows that breast cancer deaths could be reduced by 30 percent if women followed the recommended breast cancer screening guidelines that include a simple, three-step, early detection program:

  • monthly breast self-examination
  • yearly clinical breast examination by a healthcare provider
  • annual mammogram beginning at age 50

To help women meet these guidelines, the Oklahoma State Department of Health offers Take Charge! a breast cancer screening program serving Oklahoma women ages 35 to 64. Women must meet income eligibility and be noninsured or under insured to receive services. Each woman receives a health history/ risk factor survey and clinical breast exam. All women 50 to 64 years of age receive a referral for mammography. If a woman under the age of 50 has breast symptoms that indicate a need for a mammogram, she will also be referred. In addition, the Take Charge! program provides cervical cancer screening, including a screening pelvic exam and Pap smear. There is no charge for these services for women who qualify.

Learn the facts about breast cancer. The most important risk factors for breast cancer are age and being a woman. The best protection is early detection. Take Charge! of your breast and cervical health. For more information about the Take Charge! Program, or to schedule an appointment, contact your local county health department.

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