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  Vol. 21, No. 18  Previous Table of Contents Home  Next October 1, 1999 

National Mammography Day Scheduled for October 15


by STEPHANIE FELNER
The University of Texas
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

This year, more than 175,000 women in the United States will learn for the first time that they have breast cancer, and more than 43,000 women will lose their lives - 2,800 in the state of Texas alone. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women in America; however, early detection and prompt treatment can significantly reduce the suffering and deaths caused by this disease.

National Mammography Day is October 15. Mammography, an "x-ray" of the breast, is the single most effective method of detecting breast changes that may be cancer, long before physical symptoms can be seen or felt. Across Texas, a number of clinics will be offering mammograms at a reduced fee on National Mammography Day, and throughout the month of October.

"Early detection, followed by up-to-date treatment, provides a woman with a better chance for long-term freedom from breast cancer," says Dr. Therese Bevers, medical director of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson's Cancer Prevention Center. "Mammography screenings should begin at the age of 40 and continue routinely - once is not enough. Women must make mammography screening a part of their regular health care routine."

President Bill Clinton proclaimed the first National Mammography Day in 1992. Held the third Friday of each October as part of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) program, National Mammography Day serves to encourage women to take part in regular, routine mammography screening.

The NBCAM program is dedicated to increasing public knowledge about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. NBCAM's nationwide education campaign reaches out to the general public; city, state, and federal governments; health care professionals; employers; members of the news media; and women of all ages and ethnic groups. The combined activities of 18 national public service organizations, professional associations, and government agencies ensures that the NBCAM message is heard by thousands of women and their families.

For more information about certified mammography facilities in your area that will be offering reduced-fee screenings during October or for more information on breast cancer, call the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

For information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call 1-800-4-CANCER and choose the option to hear recorded information. Or, visit the NCI Web site at www.nci.nih.gov, and click on the Cancer Information Service.

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