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updated: 10/9/2012 12:14 PM

Beat breast cancer with regular testing, early detection

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David Hass

DUPAGE COUNTY--October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the DuPage County Health Department reminds DuPage County women that early detection and regular testing are the best defenses against breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. Since 1985, mammography rates have more than doubled for women age 50 and older and breast cancer deaths have declined. This is exciting progress, but there are still women who do not get mammograms and breast exams at regular intervals.

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The Health Department offers an important program to women who are underinsured or have no health insurance. The Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP), provided in part through grant funding received from the Illinois Department of Public Health, offers free screenings to detect breast cancer or cervical cancer among low-income women who are DuPage County residents. Eligible women who enroll in IBCCP may qualify for other disease prevention services.

Please visit the Health Department's website for information and enrollment forms: http://www.dupagehealth.org/womens-health.

Women should be aware of these facts:

Women age 65 and older are less likely to get mammograms than younger women, even though breast cancer risk increases with age.

Hispanic women have fewer mammograms than Caucasian women and African American women.

Women below poverty level are less likely than women at higher incomes to have had a mammogram within the past two years.

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.

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