Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in New York State. Each year, approximately 15,000 women in NYS are newly diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 2,600 women die from the disease. This October 25th, Schuyler County Public Health and Schuyler Hospital are asking people to wear pink to increase awareness of breast cancer and remind people to get screened.
Getting screened helps catch breast cancer early when it is easier to successfully treat. Current guidelines suggest that women age 50 to 74 get a mammogram every two years. In Schuyler County, only 69.9% of women in this age group have gotten screened according to these guidelines. This is lower than the screening rate for the overall Finger Lakes (82.4%) and New York State (80.9%). Women age 40 to 49, those with a family history or other risk factors for breast cancer, and those who have any breast changes or other symptoms should talk to their health care provider about what screening schedule is right for them. Although breast cancer screening recommendations may vary between organizations, each woman should be aware of her personal risk for breast cancer and decide, with her health care provider, when to start screening.
Women can get screened for breast cancer by:
- Talking to their health care provider about screening.
- Making an appointment with Schuyler Hospital. Schuyler Hospital offers Tuesday evening appointments for screening until 6:30pm and appointments every other Saturday from 8am to noon. Call 607-535-8613 to schedule.
- Making an appointment with Lourdes Mobile Mammography. Lourdes will be at the Walmart in Watkins Glen on October 20 from 9am to 3pm. Call 607-798-5723 to schedule.
- Or search for a local mammography machine near you at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfMQSA/mqsa.cfm.
Additional tips for women to help to protect against breast cancer:
- Keep a healthy weight.
- Exercise regularly.
- Don’t drink alcohol or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day.
- If taking hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives, ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it’s right for you.
- Breastfeed your children, if possible.
- If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your risk.