GENESEO, N.Y., OCTOBER 19, 2023 – The Livingston County Board of Supervisors extended its support to those who continue to cope with breast cancer as well as survivors and those advocating for prevention and a cure after declaring October Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the County.
One of the most common forms of cancer with an estimated one in eight women developing the disease in their lifetime, breast cancer is a treatable and curable illness if detected early on.
In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Livingston County Department of Health is urging all women and men with an increased risk to talk to their doctor about breast cancer screening and their personal risk for the disease.
“Every woman needs to be aware of her personal risk for breast cancer and make an informed decision with her doctor about when and how often she should be screened,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, Livingston County’s Public Health Director.
Although the causes of breast cancer are still unknown, there are some factors that may increase a woman’s chances of getting the disease:
- Getting older - most women are diagnosed when they are 50 years of age or older
- Having a first menstrual period younger than the age of 12
- Starting menopause older than 55 years of age
- Never giving birth, or giving birth to a first child after age 30
- Not breastfeeding
- Having had breast cancer or some non-cancerous breast diseases
- Having a close family member who has had breast cancer, especially at an early age
- Having certain gene mutations such as BRCA 1 or BRCA 2
- Being overweight or obese
- Drinking alcohol
- Not getting enough exercise
- Exposure to high levels of ionizing radiation to the chest area early in life
- Long-term use of hormone replacement therapy
Even if a woman has one or more of these risk factors, it does not mean she will develop breast cancer. Respectively, women with few or no risk factors may still develop breast cancer. There are no guarantees, which is why screening is important for all women.
Breast cancer screening is covered by many public and private health insurance plans. Uninsured women 40 years of age and older may also be able to get a breast cancer screening through the Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes by calling 1-877-803-8070.
For questions about screening or your personal risk, contact your health care provider. For questions about prevention, diagnosis, or treatment, visit www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/breast/.
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About Livingston County:
Founded in 1821, Livingston County, N.Y., is home to more than 61,000 residents in 17 towns located across 631 square miles of the Finger Lakes region.