October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and America’s Community Health Centers are preparing to step up to the challenge of reaching out to America’s underserved, uninsured, and low-income communities, as well as those who have insurance. Community Health Centers provided 319,262 mammograms to 299,516 patients last year, according to data collected by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). Early detection is critical in surviving breast cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute, there will be an estimated 230,480 new cases of breast cancer in 2011, resulting in 39,520 deaths. In 2010, the top five states with the most patients receiving breast cancer screenings at Community Health Centers are California, New York, Illinois, Florida, and Massachusetts. By providing affordable and accessible screenings, and launching education and outreach efforts to culturally diverse populations, health centers have been able to help boost the odds of early breast cancer detection and save lives.
Many breast cancer risk factors cannot be avoided, such as genes, gender, and age. However, some breast cancer risk factors can. To decrease your breast cancer risk, avoid tobacco use, consume alcohol only in moderation, eat healthy, and get regular exercise. Mammography is the best screening method for detecting breast cancer in its earliest forms, and can detect possible tumors years before a woman can feel an actual lump. It is recommended that women 40 years and older receive a screening mammogram every year.
For more information about health centers please visit www.nachc.org.
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FQHCmd Consulting Group is a nationwide consulting group for FQHC, FQHC Look Alikes, Rural and Community Health Centers.
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