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Breast Cancer

Who gets Breast Cancer?
woman and doctorAll women can get breast cancer. Although the causes of breast cancer are still unknown, there are some factors that may increase women's chances of getting
the disease:
  • Getting older - Most women are diagnosed over 60 years of age
  • Having had breast cancer, or a close family member (mother, sister, daughter) who has had breast cancer
  • Having certain gene mutations such as BRCA1 or BRCA2
  • Being overweight or obese (see Eating Healthy)
  • Drinking alcohol (find alcohol treatment)
  • Not getting enough exercise (see Shape Up NYC)

Even if women have one or more of these risk factors, it does not mean they will get breast cancer. Also, many women who get breast cancer do not have any risk factors. This is why screening is important for all women.

Regular Mammograms Save Lives
Breast cancer kills about 1,260 women in New York City every year and still 23% of women 40 and older have not had a recent mammogram.

  • It is recommended that women ages 40 and older get a mammogram every 1-2 years.
  • Women with a family history of breast cancer should ask a doctor about whether to begin screening before age 40 and how often to get screened.
  • Mammograms can help to identify potential cancers at an earlier stage and has been shown to reduce deaths from breast cancer.

Where to Get a Mammogram
  • The Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) offers mammograms at little or no cost. See a list of locations in New York City or call 311 and ask for a "mammogram."
  • The New York State DOH Breast Cancer Program offers free breast cancer screening as well as cervical and colorectal cancer screening to qualified uninsured persons. See a list of locations in New York City that offer these services.
  • Call 311 for help finding a doctor or a clinic to get a mammogram.