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For Release: October 15, 2013 - Pamela Williams, Office of Communications - 405/271-5601

Have a Think Pink Attitude! Don’t Forget Your Breast Cancer Screening!
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Officials from the Chronic Disease Service of the Oklahoma State Department of Health are urging Oklahoma women to “think pink” this month and remember to get a breast cancer screening as recommended by their health care provider. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in Oklahoma women.  In 2012, 30.7 percent of Oklahoma women reported not having a mammogram in the past two years. This is a larger percentage of the population than was reported nationally at 26 percent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are several factors that increase the risk for developing breast cancer. These risk factors include being female, increasing age, genetic risk factors, family or a personal history of breast cancer, and having a sedentary lifestyle. Additional information and a complete listing of breast cancer risk factors can be found on the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov.

Most women who are 50 to 74 years old should have a screening mammogram every two years.  Women who are 40 to 49 years old as well as those who think they may be at high risk of breast cancer should consult their health care provider about when to have a screening mammogram. In most cases, a mammogram must be ordered by a health care provider. Oklahoma has more than 100 mammography facilities that can provide mammograms for women. 

Most insurance companies cover the cost of mammograms. Women who are unsure if their insurance policy covers mammograms should review their insurance handbook or call the phone number on the back of their insurance card.  Women who are uninsured, low income and 50 years old or older may qualify for a free clinical breast exam and mammogram through the Take Charge! Program.  For more information, call the Take Charge! Program at 1-888-669-5934 or (405) 271-9444, ext. 57113.

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