Maine CDC Press Release

October 10, 2006

DHHS' Maine CDC Urges Screening During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH, Director
Maine CDC
Tel: (207) 287-3270
John Martins, Director
Employee and Public Communications
Tel: (207) 287-5012

AUGUSTA - In recognition of October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services is reminding Maine women of the importance of regular screening for early detection of breast cancer.

DHHS’ Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (formerly Bureau of Health) recommends that women age 40 and older should have a clinical breast exam and mammogram every year and that women age 20-39 (without symptoms) receive a clinical breast exam every three years.

As the most frequently diagnosed non-skin cancer, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. “Early detection saves lives,” said Dora Ann Mills, MD, MPH, Director of Maine CDC. “Maine women 40 and older need to include clinical breast exams and mammograms as part of their yearly health care routine. Women should talk with their providers about scheduling a mammogram, especially if it has been awhile since their last screening.”

In Maine, it is estimated that 1,040 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Breast cancer screening has been shown to reduce breast cancer deaths. However, in 2002 only two-thirds of Maine women 40 years and older had a mammogram in the past year.

For women in need of financial assistance, the Maine CDC provides free breast and cervical health screenings. To qualify, a woman must be between 40 and 64 years old; meet certain income guidelines; have no medical insurance (including MaineCare and Medicare Part B), or have insurance which does not cover screening services.

For more information or to see if you qualify, please call 1-800-350-5180.

The Maine CDC provides leadership for and coordination of Maine's statewide comprehensive cancer control efforts. It is guided by the goals and objectives delineated in the Maine Cancer Plan. For more information about the plan, please call 1-207-287-4715 or visit