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DOH-Orange Recommends Early Detection and Treatment to during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 29, 2018

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) encourages all women to get regular screenings to promote early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among American women, and regular mammogram screenings can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer.

 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 50–64 years of age or 40–49 years of age with a family history of breast cancer (in a first-degree relative: parent, brother, sister or child) or Symptomatic women who are underage may be eligible if no other resources are available in their area;
  • Experiencing breast symptoms;
  • A breast cancer survivor;
  • Have no health insurance to cover the cost of clinical breast exams, mammograms or Pap smears;
  • Have a household income less than or equal to 200 percent of the poverty level.

To obtain more information or to see if you qualify, please call DOH-Orange at 407-858-1421. Follow DOH-Orange on Twitter @GOHealthyOrange

Also, you can contact 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.