Getting screened for cancer could save your life

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In October, we raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of getting screened for this disease.  

Sadly, over 16,400 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 2,500 women die from the disease each year, according to the state Department of Health. An estimated one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her life.  

All women can get breast cancer. However, some women are more susceptible than others. According to the Department of Health:  

Breast cancer is more common among older women. The risk for getting breast cancer increases with age. More than three-quarters of women who get breast cancer are over the age of 50. 

White women are more likely to get breast cancer than Black women, but, once they have the disease, Black women are more likely to die from it. Asian and Hispanic women are less likely to get breast cancer than White women or Black women.  

Women of higher socioeconomic status (those whose family incomes are above average) are more likely to get breast cancer. Scientists believe this may be related to having their first child at an older age, fewer pregnancies, diet and possible other characteristics shared by women in higher income groups.  

Men aren’t immune. While it is very rare, they also can get breast cancer. About 160 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the state, according to the health department.  

A breast cancer diagnosis can have a significant, life-changing impact.  

The key to preventing breast cancer, or any other cancer for that matter, is early detection through screenings.  

I encourage you to get screened. A simple mammogram or screening may just save your life or that of your loved ones. 

For more information on breast cancer screening, call the Cancer Services Program at 1-866-442-CANCER (2262) or visit the website at www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/services/.   

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