October - Breast Cancer Awareness

October 16, 2019

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The probability of contracting Breast Cancer is affected by preventable behavior as well as genetics, making early detection possible and life-saving. Prevention is key to the fight against breast cancer.

There are approximately 3,500 newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer in Connecticut each year, according to the Connecticut Breast Health Initiative. Forty percent of women have dense breast tissue and twenty five percent of post-menopausal women have dense breasts.

Breast Cancer Facts

  • It’s survivable if detected and treated early.
  • Incidence rates are stable and mortality rates are declining in Connecticut.
  • A mammogram (the screening test for breast cancer) can help find breast cancer early when it's easier to treat.
  • Women age 40 to 49 should talk with their doctor about mammogram testing
  • Women age 50 to 74 should get a mammogram at least every 2 years.
  • Breast cancer can occur in men - over 2,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed each year. Find out more.

This past session, I supported legislation we passed to require health insurance coverage for baseline mammograms for any woman who is 40 years or older and prohibits insurance companies from charging coinsurance, co-payments, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses for breast ultrasounds and mammograms.

Additionally, the state Department of Public Health offers programs to help uninsured women access cancer screenings.

Please talk to your doctor about mammograms and read about Johns Hopkins Medicine, which released 6 myths about mammograms here.