Bullitt Health Department provides way for all to have mammograms

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  It takes just about an hour out of 8,760 hours-a whole year, but the benefits can lengthen your future immeasurably. 

A simple screening for breast cancer can save lives. A simple screening for breast cancer can change lives. A simple screening for breast cancer, done early, done each year, HAS made the difference to millions of women over the past years. It can make a difference in your future, too.

 Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women (ACS, Cancer Facts, 2012). A quick look at the Kentucky Cancer Registry website (www.cancer-rates.info) shows Bullitt County has approximately “at-risk” 38,200. 

The rate for Bullitt County is 139.5 new cases of breast cancer in 100,000 women in 2009 compared to 120.2 in the state. 

That is, Bullitt County has more new cases of breast cancer than the State as a whole. 

Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? 

The good is found in the increase number of early and regular mammography screenings. The medical community has long known mammography can often detect breast cancer at an early stage, when treatment is more effective and a cure is more likely. 

This is supported by numerous studies showing early detection with mammograms saves lives and increases treatment options. 

Steady declines in breast cancer mortality among women since 1990 have been attributed to a combination of early detection and improvements in treatment. Mammography is a very accurate screening tool, both for women at average and increased risk. 

On average, mammography will detect about 80%-90% of breast cancers in women without symptoms. Although the majority of women with an abnormal mammogram do not have cancer (ACS).

Efforts have been made to improve access to health care and to encourage all women 40 and older to receive regular mammograms.

Not only does BCHD bring the mobile mammogram unit to the county, over the past years BCHD has written for and been awarded grants to increase awareness of breast cancer in the county. 

BCHD provides instruction to community groups, civic organizations, churches, health ministries, and schools through cancer awareness presentations and breast-self exam instruction. Call the Health Education office at 955-5355 to schedule for your group. BCHD is the portal to the Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program, which provides free or reduced-cost screenings and treatment follow-up for women who qualify based on household income.

Bullitt County Health Department works to bring a mobile mammogram unit to the county each month to ease the burden to scheduling mammograms.

Residents can call the health department for cancer screenings or to schedule a mammogram appointment at 955-7837 or 543-2415.  

BCHD is scheduling appointment now for  December 19, 2012 Mobile Mammography unit.

SOURCE: American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2011-2012, accessed October 10, 2012 at www.cancer.org/statistics.

Kentucky Cancer Registry, Incidence & Mortality rates, accessed October 10, 2012 at www.cancer-rates.info.