In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Florida Department of Health in Franklin and Gulf County encourages all women to receive regular screenings to promote early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Important advances have been made through increased awareness, breast cancer screenings and better treatments.

 

“The Florida Department of Health in Gulf and Franklin Counties encourages women to take charge of their health by scheduling regular mammograms,” said Sarah Hinds, Administrator, DOH-Gulf. “We offer screenings to women who qualify through our Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Early protection is the best protection.”

 

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), not counting some kinds of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, no matter a person’s race or ethnicity. The American Cancer Society estimates 19,130 new cases are expected in Florida this year alone. In 2018, 2,955 women in Florida died from Female Breast Cancer.

 

What should women do? Make “No excuses, ladies.” Women should talk to their health care provider about their individual risk factors and the frequency of receiving mammograms, as well as complete any recommended mammogram screenings. Additionally, women can lower their risk as follows:

 

• Get and stay at a healthy weight

• Be physically active

• Limit or avoid alcohol

• Choose to breast-feed

• Quit smoking and or vaping

The Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (FCCEDP) provides access to the breast and cervical cancer screenings doctors recommend. The screenings are free or low cost for those who meet the program eligibility requirements.

To see if you qualify, call DOH-Gulf 227-1276 or call the American Cancer Society National Hotline at 1-800-227-2345 to get more information on the program.

Medicare insurance also provides mammograms to women age 65 and older without a copay. Please call 1-800-633-4227 for information on receiving mammograms through Medicare.