- Marking the start of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, acting
Commissioner of Health and Senior Services George T. DiFerdinando,
Jr., M.D. is urging women - particularly those age 40 and above
- to make breast cancer screening a routine part of their lives.
"If all women age 40 and older took advantage
of early detection methods, primarily mammography and clinical breast
exams, breast cancer death rates could drop by as much as 30 percent
nationwide," said Dr. DiFerdinando. "The key is to ensure
that mammography screening is done routinely - once is not enough."
In the years since October was designated as National
Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 1985, mammography rates have more
than doubled for women age 50 and older and breast cancer deaths
have declined by 1.8 percent each year since 1992.
"This is exciting progress," said Dr.
DiFerdinando, "but there are still women who do not take advantage
of early detection at all and others who do not get screening mammograms
and clinical breast exams at regular intervals."
Celeste Andriot-Wood, Assistant Commissioner for
Family Health Services, said, "The three keys to early detection
are: regular mammograms, annual clinical breast examinations by
a health care provider and monthly breast self-examinations. The
more people we can convince to get screened regularly, the more
lives we can save."
Working toward that goal is the department's New
Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection (NJCEED) program. NJCEED
provides comprehensive screening services for breast, cervical,
prostate and colorectal cancer. Services include: education, outreach,
and early detection, case management, screening, tracking and follow-up.
NJCEED services are available in all 21 counties
through 25 lead partner agencies. The program seeks to increase
the awareness of each person's risk for breast, cervical, prostate
and/or colorectal cancer and to encourage them to use screening
services for early detection and more effective treatment to decrease
morbidity and mortality.
NJCEED is partnering on a number of major statewide initiatives
promoting breast cancer awareness during October. Individuals can
contact NJCEED at 609-292-8540, or the numbers listed below, for
more information about the following programs:
Wal-Mart stores throughout the state have
partnered with local NJCEED programs to provide education and outreach
activities at the stores during the entire month of October. Referrals
for screenings will be done on-site.
Through the Book Mark Your Health Campaign,
NJCEED is partnering with all 317 libraries in New Jersey to distribute
important information to everyone who comes into the libraries during
the month of October.
The American Cancer Society's Making Strides
Against Breast Cancer, on Sunday, October 14. This walking
event at Princeton Forrestal Village is a rally to raise awareness
and funds for the fight against breast cancer. For more information,
On October 19, to mark National Mammography
Day, mammography facilities around the country will offer reduced-fee
screenings. For more information about which certified mammography
facilities in New Jersey will be offering reduced-fee screenings
that day or at other times throughout the month, call NJCEED at
609-292-8540, or call one of the following toll-free numbers: American
Cancer Society, 800-227-2345; The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation,
800-462-9273; National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations,
888-80-NABCO; National Cancer Institute, 800-4-CANCER; Y-ME National
Breast Cancer Organization, 800-221-2141.
Breast & Prostate Cancer Candlelight Night
will be held at the Sovereign Bank Arena, Saturday, October 20,
2001, during a pre-season basketball game for the Philadelphia 76ers.
This first-time event for breast and prostate cancer survivors,
breast cancer groups and organizations will raise awareness for
these two forms of cancer, and is sponsored by Trenton's Sovereign
Bank Arena, the City of Trenton Health Department, the American
Cancer Society, Horizon-Mercy Health Care and the New Jersey Department
of Health and Senior Services.
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's
Race for the Cure, Sunday, October 29, at Bristol-Meyers
Squibb in Princeton, is an annual walk/run fundraising and breast
cancer awareness event. NJCEED and many local service providers
will be participating in this event as exhibitors. For more information,
On October 31, the Cancer Resource Center at
the Trenton YWCA, the first such facility in Mercer County,
will host a dedication service and open house.
In New Jersey, approximately 6,500 women are diagnosed
each year with breast cancer, and an additional 1,500 are diagnosed
with breast cancer "in situ," or before dangerous cancer
changes have occurred. About 1,500 women die from breast cancer
each year in the state with an overall cancer mortality rate of
about 28 per 100,000 women.
For more information about breast cancer services,
visit the department's website at www.state.nj.us/health/cancer.