In honor of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) announced today that screening mammograms are available at little or no cost to eligible local residents. She urged women to learn more about the early detection tests for breast cancer, which play a key role in saving lives.
"It certainly saved me; I'm a 20-year breast cancer survivor," said Senator Oppenheimer. "All woman can take an active part in detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages with regular visits to the doctor, self breast exams and, depending on their age, periodic screening mammograms."
A mammogram is a special X-ray used to create detailed images of the breast. The National Cancer Institute recommends that women age 40 and older have a screening mammogram every one to two years. Mammograms can help detect a breast cancer tumor years before a lump can be felt by touch. Women at higher than average risk of breast cancer should talk with their physicians about whether to have mammograms before age 40.
Senator Oppenheimer noted that anyone can get breast cancer, including men. "Many people assume it can’t happen to them, but it can, even if they exercise regularly, eat a nutritious diet and generally do all the things we’re told will keep us healthy."
An excellent resource for New Yorkers with mammography or breast cancer questions or concerns is the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support program, which directs callers to community resources and provides telephone support through volunteers, all of whom are breast cancer survivors. The toll-free hotline, at 1-800-877-8077, has offered information and support for 27 years.
Westchester residents can also get information about low- or no-cost screening mammograms by calling the Healthy Living Partnership of Westchester at (914) 813-5255.
"Everywhere you look this month, people are wearing pink to show their support," Senator Oppenheimer concluded. "Speaking as a cancer survivor myself, I know firsthand that knowledge is the crucial first step. I urge you to take the time to be proactive and get screened. Do it for your loved ones. Do it for yourself."