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REGION -- The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention/Maine Department of Health and Human Services (Maine CDC) recognizes October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In 2012, it is anticipated that 1,170 Maine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 180 women will die from the disease. There are several steps women can take to lower the risk of breast cancer and the LePage administration encourages Maine women to take preventative measures.
Eating healthy more fruits and vegetables and exercising regularly are two important steps to lessen the risk. To increase the chance of finding breast cancer early, it is important that women be screened regularly. Early detection is the best protection and mammograms are still the best screening test. The 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey found that more than 80 percent of 221,241 Maine women, age 40 and older, reported having a mammogram in the past two years.
Help is available for women age 40 and older who are in need of breast, cervical and colorectal screening tests if they meet program qualifications. The Maine CDC Breast and Cervical Health and Colorectal Cancer Control Programs can provide information about cancer screening tests as well as resources for free cancer screenings.
Interested women are encouraged to call 1-800-350-5180 or 1-207-287-8068, TTY users call Maine Relay 711. More details can also be found at: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/population-health/bcp/.