Maine CDC Press Release

October 10, 2018

Maine CDC Reminds Women of the Importance of Mammograms

AUGUSTA - As the nation recognizes October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) is reminding women that regular screening mammograms are critical to the early detection of breast cancer. If breast cancer is found early, there are more treatment options and a better chance for survival. Breast cancer remains the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Maine women.

"While breast cancer is not preventable, early detection of the disease is the best protection," said Maine CDC Director, Dr. Bruce Bates. "I encourage women to speak with their health care provider about scheduling a mammogram. This simple screening test helps to save lives."

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services supports the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force breast cancer screening recommendations through promotions by the Maine CDC's Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Program. The Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening unit provides information about breast cancer screening tests and has resources available for free breast cancer screening and follow-up services. Women must be age 40 or older and meet financial and other program criteria. Women who require assistance in receiving a screening mammogram are encouraged to call 1-800-350-5180 or 1-207-287-8068; TTY users call Maine Relay 711.

The risk of getting female breast cancer increases as women age. Beginning at age 40, women are encouraged to discuss their family and medical history with their health care provider to determine when screening should start. Women ages 50 - 74 years are recommended to have a screening mammogram every other year. Not all breast cancer can be felt as a lump during breast exams, which is why regular testing is important. A screening mammogram can detect breast cancer before it is big enough to cause symptoms.

More details about the Maine CDC breast cancer screening program can be found at: www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/population-health/bcp/