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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and NH DHHS Encourages Women to Speak with Their Providers about Screening Options
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Division of Public Health
Publish Date:
October 18, 2017

Concord, NH – In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, the NH Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) has created an infographic of key statistics about breast cancer in New Hampshire.

Did you know that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the United States and in New Hampshire and that New Hampshire has the second highest rate of breast cancer in the United States? Although the incidence rate in New Hampshire is high, the breast cancer mortality rate is lower than the overall national rate, and lower than the rates in 31 states and territories.

“Breast cancer is far too common an occurrence for women in New Hampshire, but the good news is that women are getting screened and catching breast cancer diagnosis earlier and earlier,” said Lisa Morris, DPHS. “In fact, the mortality rate has continued to steadily decrease since 1989. The early detection of breast cancer in our state, when treatment is more likely to be successful, is an important factor. Three out of every four cases of breast cancer in New Hampshire are found at an early stage.”

Data show that women in Belknap County suffer from a disproportionately higher rate; all other counties in New Hampshire have rates that are either similar to or lower than that of the State. New Hampshire’s breast cancer screening rate is high at 83%; however, disparities exist. Among women who are uninsured, only half report having been screened for breast cancer in the past two years.

The United States Preventive Services Taskforce recommends screening every two years for women ages 50 to 74, with an average risk for breast cancer. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services recommends that women speak with their health care provider to determine whether or not screening is right for them.

For women who are uninsured or who can’t afford screening, assistance is available. The NH DPHS Healthy Lives Breast and Cervical Cancer Program offers FREE screening to women who qualify based on insurance status and income. Since its inception in 1997, the program has provided more than 35,000 mammograms to women in New Hampshire. For more information, call 1-800-852-3345, ext. 4931.


 
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