October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission is encouraging women to get screened regularly for the disease.
“Many of us have delayed life-saving screenings like mammograms during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is understandable. But after 19 months it’s so important to get back on track with regular breast cancer screening,” said Lindsay Rodgers, HHSC associate commissioner for Health and Developmental Services. “Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms.”
The American Cancer Society recommends that women ages 45 to 54 get a mammogram annually, while women ages 55 and older get checked at least once every two years. Women with extra risk factors could start annual screenings at age 40.
HHSC’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Services Program (BCCS) helps fund clinics across the state to provide free breast cancer screening and diagnostic services such as clinical breast examinations, mammograms and breast biopsies to eligible women. BCCS also provides funding for cervical cancer screenings and treatment for precancerous cervical conditions.
Last year, the program helped more than 26,600 women, including more than 15,000 women who received breast cancer services. Uninsured and underinsured Texas women who have an income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible to apply for BCCS. Additional eligibility requirements can be found here.
To learn more about women’s health programs and services offered, visit www.healthytexaswomen.org or dial 2-1-1.
About National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is observed in October to raise awareness about breast cancer and provide education about prevention, screening, and treatments. According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer became the most common cancer globally as of 2021, accounting for 12 percent of all new annual cancer cases worldwide.
This month, some breast cancer awareness observation dates include:
- Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day – Oct. 13
- National Mammography Day – Oct. 15
- Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day – Oct. 20