Dalton (GA) – Just as October is a month that signals the beginning of fall in North Georgia, it is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month – and once again this year, public health departments in the North Georgia Health District have spent October placing special emphasis on the early detection and prevention of breast cancer.
Throughout the year, health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties provide breast exams, breast self-exam instruction and counseling, and mammogram referrals. During October, Murray County Health Department successfully petitioned Chatsworth Mayor Dan Penland to proclaim October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Chatsworth, and health departments in Cherokee, Gilmer and Whitfield Counties wore pink as a reminder that breast cancer awareness saves lives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. In the U.S. in 2010 – the most recent year numbers are available – nearly 207,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and almost 41,000 died from the disease.
Excluding some types of skin cancer, the CDC says that breast cancer is the most common cancer in U.S. women, regardless of race or ethnicity.
Men are not immune to breast cancer, although it is less common. For every 100 cases of breast cancer, less than 1 is in men. However, both men and women should adhere to self-exams and regular physical check-ups. When breast cancer is found early, many people go on to live long and healthy lives.
For more information about breast cancer and its prevention, call the nearest county health department (find phone numbers by clicking on the LOCATIONS tab above) or log onto the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast.