As we “think pink” in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month, we must also think prevention and early detection. Even with improved treatments and greater awareness, breast cancer is still the second deadliest cancer among U.S. women. Statistics show that too many Texas women are putting off life-saving breast self-exams and mammograms.
The Healthy Texas Women and Breast and Cervical Cancer Services programs provide quality, accessible breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to qualified women at no cost. With these services available, more women can take charge of their health and seek out these important screenings.
Studies have shown that minority women are more likely to have advanced stages of breast cancer by the time they are diagnosed. African-American women have the highest death rates from breast cancer of all women. And among Hispanic women, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer related death.
For both African-American and Hispanic women, early detection is much lower when compared to white women. Many of these deaths could be prevented through earlier detection.
Early detection with regular mammograms remains the most effective way to combat the disease. With continual advancements in patient care, cancer caught earlier can be treated with greater success.
Texas women are unstoppable – dedicating their time and energy to support family members, loved ones or friends who are fighting cancer – honoring their challenges and celebrating their victories. Pink may be the color of hope in October, but all women need more resources to take charge of their health. We must ensure that all women have information about early detection through breast self-exams and mammograms, and that they are aware of resources that exist for free and low-cost screenings.
The women in your life may be eligible for benefits from the Healthy Texas Women and Breast and Cervical Cancer Services programs. To check eligibility or find a health care provider, visit www.healthytexaswomen.org.