One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the National Cancer Institute, and an early detection plan enables you be proactive with your health.
When breast cancer is detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent but more than 30 percent of the women are diagnosed after breast cancer has spread beyond the localized stage.
The purpose of breast cancer screening is to check a woman for breast cancer before there are signs or symptoms. Screening is done through a mammogram, clinical breast exam or a breast self-exam.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer and a clinical breast exam or self-exam would not decrease the risk of dying from the disease.
Low-income, uninsured and under-insured women have access to breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program provided by the CDC.
Services include clinical breast examinations, mammograms, pelvic examinations, diagnostic testing if results are abnormal and referrals to treatment.
Approximately 9.7 to 11 percent of U.S. women of screening age are eligible to receive these services. According to federal guidelines, women at or below 250 percent of federal poverty level are eligible.
Since 1991, the program has served more than 4.2 million women, provided more than 10.4 million breast and cervical cancer screening examinations and diagnosed more than 54,276 breast cancer, 3,113 invasive cervical cancers and 144,460 premalignant cervical lesions.
In Ocean County, Community Medical Center is a part of the program. Services include screening for breast, cervical, prostate and colorectal cancer. Services also include education, outreach, early detection, case management, screening, tracking and follow-up.
For more information on the program, call 1-800-238-3838.
Community Medical Center is located at 99 Route 37 West in Toms River and can be reached at 732-341-1400 or 732-557-3207.
For more information on breast cancer, visit http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/.
To learn how to perform a breast self-exam, click here.