|NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene |
Office of Communications
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Greg Butler
Thursday, October 17, 2002
NYC DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE
FORTY YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER
TO GET ANNUAL MAMMOGRAPHIES
October 18 is National Mammography Day
On the eve of National Mammography Day, October 18, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) reminded women ages 40 and older of the importance of mammographies in detecting breast cancer in its early stages.
Mary Bassett, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Commissioner of DOHMH's Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention said, "Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women, killing more than 1,200 women in New York City each year. Moreover, only 25% of African-American women in the City receive the recommended schedule of mammograms. But the good news is that breast cancer is treatable, and screening services are available in New York City for women without health insurance. Mammographies save lives, and all women over the age of forty should make sure that they receive an annual screening."
Dr. Bassett noted that women without health insurance or from low-income backgrounds should call the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program at 1-888-842-6355 (select option 7), or the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 for information about free mamographies.
Studies have shown that a diet including fruit and vegetables combined with regular exercise may reduce one's risk for breast cancer. The following categories of women are considered to be at elevated risk for developing and dying from breast cancer:
- Those over the age of 40;
- Those with family history of breast cancer;
- Those who have never delivered a child full-term;
- Those who have never had a mammogram; and
- African-American women.
National Mammography Day was first proclaimed in 1993 and is celebrated the third Friday in October every year. For more information about where to get a free mammography, visit the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Web site at www.nbcam.org.