CONTACT: Claire Smith, (608)
Early Breast Cancer Screening Encouraged for Wisconsin Women
Many Women Still Don't Get Screened; October is
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
MADISON – While the number of breast cancer deaths in Wisconsin
continues to show a small decline, state health officials and
Wisconsin’s First Lady are encouraging women to get screened, noting
that many women are still not regularly examined for breast cancer.
“In Wisconsin, scientists, doctors, and medical care staff are making
promising strides in the research, detection, and treatment of cancer,”
said First Lady Tonette Walker. “Because we know that early detection is
so important to overcoming breast cancer, everyone should do a self-exam
at least once a month, and see their doctor right away if they have any
concerns at all.”
The 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Survey showed that 21 percent of
Wisconsin women aged 40 and older had not had a mammogram within the
past two years.
“In my years as an oncology nurse, I worked with many courageous
women who survived breast cancer, and I saw firsthand how important it
is to diagnose breast cancer early, while it is most curable,” said
Karen McKeown, Wisconsin Division of Public Health Administrator.
Mammograms can detect breast cancer at an early stage, allowing for
life-saving treatment. The procedure can be especially important for
women in populations with a higher mortality for breast cancer. In 2008,
the age-adjusted rate for breast cancer mortality was highest among
African American women, at 31.2 per 100,000. Women, especially those at
high risk and those age 40 and older, should check with their health
care provider about the schedule of mammograms and other breast cancer
screenings that is best for them.
The national five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with
early-stage breast cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body
is 98 percent, compared with 24 percent for women diagnosed with late-
stage cancer that has spread. In Wisconsin, 64 percent of invasive
breast cancer cases in 2008 were diagnosed at the early stage.
From 2004 to 2008, the breast cancer mortality rate in Wisconsin
decreased approximately 8 percent, McKeown noted. In 2008, however,
there were still 720 women who died from breast cancer, a number second
only to lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer death among Wisconsin
For women concerned about affording the cost of screening, the
Wisconsin Well Woman Program is available to provide breast and cervical
cancer services to eligible low-income women aged 45-64 that have little
or no health insurance coverage.
To find out more about eligibility for the Wisconsin Well Woman
Program, please contact the local coordinating agency in your county.
For information about Wisconsin cancer incidence and mortality,
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October 12, 2012