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DOH-Seminole Promotes Early Detection and Treatment to Fight Breast Cancer

By Mirna Chamorro

October 16, 2018

SANFORD, Fla. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County (DOH-Seminole) encourages all women to receive regular screenings to promote early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Getting mammograms regularly can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer.

DOH-Seminole invites the community to a Breast Cancer Awareness education session on Thursday, October 25th from 9:30 – 11:30am at the Sanford office located at 400 West Airport Boulevard, Sanford, FL 32773. Guest speaker is Julie Miller, MD, Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologist from the Women’s Center of Radiology in Orlando.

“Many factors can influence a women’s breast cancer risk. Some factors such as age and family history cannot be changed, but you can help lower your risk factors by staying healthy throughout your life. Breast Cancer Awareness Month can be the time for women of all ages to start keeping their doctor’s appointments and getting the important screenings, such as a mammogram to prevent breast cancer and receive the appropriate treatment if it occurs,” said Donna J. Walsh, health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of breast cancer increases with age. Mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer early, when treatment is more effective. Women should talk with their health care provider about individual risk factors and the frequency of receiving mammograms. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women 50 to 74 years old should have a screening mammogram every two years. Women 40 to 49 years old should talk to their doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram.

The CDC recommends regular mammograms and paying attention to the following changes in the look and feel of the breast, including:

  • A new lump in the breast;

  • A lump that has changed in size;

  • A change in the size and shape of the breast;

  • Pain in the breast or nipple that does not go away;

  • Flaky, red or swollen skin anywhere on the breast;

  • A nipple that is very tender or that begins to turn inward; and Blood or any other type of fluid coming from the nipple that is not milk when nursing a baby.

The Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program provides access to the breast and cervical cancer screenings doctors recommend. The screenings are free or low cost for those who meet program eligibility requirements. You may receive a free or low-cost mammogram or Pap test if you are a female without health insurance, low income, and a resident of Seminole, Orange or Lake counties, and have one of the following qualifiers:

  • Between the ages of 50 and 64 years old;

  • Experiencing breast symptoms;

  • Have a mother, father or sister with breast cancer;

  • A breast cancer survivor.

To see if you qualify, call DOH-Seminole at (407) 665-3185. For more information on Breast Cancer call the American Cancer Society National Hotline at 1-800-227-2345. 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.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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