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Published on October 20, 2006

Kishwaukee Community Hospital Recognized National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 20, 2006

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Kishwaukee Community Hospital reminds all women to conduct monthly breast self-exams and all women over 40 to have yearly mammograms.

Since the inception of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 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 take advantage of early detection at all and others who do not get screening mammograms and clinical breast exams at regular intervals.

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

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

“If all women age 40 and older took advantage of early detection methods, mammography plus clinical breast exam, breast cancer death rates would drop much further,” says Dr. Bharati D. Bhate, radiation oncologist with Illinois Regional Cancer Center. “The key to mammography screening is that it is done routinely, once is not enough.”

Although advancements are continually being discovered for treatment of breast cancer, early detection significantly increases survival rates.

“All women are at risk for getting breast cancer. Increased Risk factors include age, family history of breast cancer, and smoking,” says Dr.Sabet M. Siddiqui, medical oncologist at Kishwaukee Cancer Care Center.

“Women at high risk for breast cancer should also talk to their physician about medications that have been shown to help reduce the risk,” Dr. Siddiqui said.
To schedule your annual mammogram at Kishwaukee Community Hospital, which includes the Mammoreader, a computer-aided detection system, call 815.748.2975. No prescription is needed. Evening and Sunday appointments are available.

Reduced or free mammograms may be available to women throughout DeKalb, Winnebago and Boone Counties. This service is offered by the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program administered locally by Winnebago County Health Department. Screenings through the program are offered by local providers, including Kishwaukee Community Hospital. Women can call 800.511.4315 to determine eligibility for the reduced cost screening. Eligibility is based on age and income level.

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