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Governor Kasich Proclaims October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Governor Kasich Proclaims October Breast Cancer Awareness MonthOhio Governor John R. Kasich has proclaimed October 2013 as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Organizations and health practitioners are urged to use the opportunity to promote awareness and proper breast health.  National Mammography Day will be recognized on Friday, October 18.  During these observances, women are encouraged to make a renewed commitment to follow the recommended screening guidelines and make a mammogram appointment.

Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in Ohio and the U.S.  Every two minutes, a woman in the U.S. is diagnosed with breast cancer.  More than 8,000 Ohio women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and about 1,800 Ohio women will die from the disease.


Symptoms of Breast Cancer

In its early stages, breast cancer may be too small for a woman or her doctor to feel and there may not be any signs or symptoms.  As it grows, breast cancer can cause changes in how the breast looks or feels.  Symptoms may include:

  • New lump in the breast or underarm area
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area of the breast
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood
  • Any change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Pain in any area of the breast

Get a Mammogram to Detect Breast Cancer Early

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that doctors use to look for early signs of breast cancer.  Regular mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, sometimes detecting the disease as much as three years before it can be felt.  Finding breast cancer early and at its most treatable stages, followed by prompt and appropriate treatments, can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer.  Women age 40 years and older need to talk with their doctor about when and how often they should have a mammogram screening. 

Screening recommendations for the average at-risk women:

  • The American Cancer Society recommends an annual mammogram starting at age 40.
  • The U.S. Preventive Health and Health Services Task Force and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that women age 50-74 have a screening mammogram every two years.

Factors That May Impact the Risk of Developing Breast Cancer

Breast cancer risk factors include both personal and environmental influences.  All women are urged to learn about their risk and make a renewed commitment to follow the recommended screening guidelines.  Risk factors include:

  • Genetic mutations
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Not having children or having a first child after age 30
  • Long-term menopausal hormone replacement therapy
  • Being obesity or overweight
  • Alcohol consumption


Progress in Raising Awareness and Fighting Breast Cancer

Through research and advocacy, significant advances have been made in the fight against breast cancer. For all stages at diagnosis combined, five-year survival increased from about 75 percent in 1975-1977 to about 90 percent in 2003-2009.

Today, there are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. These women are a testament to courage, as well as to the importance of promoting awareness about breast cancer, providing information, funding research, following recommended screening guidelines, and offering treatment to those who are affected.

The efforts of various organizations have made a major contribution to increasing breast cancer awareness among both women and men in all Ohio communities through outreach, education, and screening programs, and have empowered women with lifesaving messages regarding early detection and annual mammograms.

The Comprehensive Cancer Control Program at the Ohio Department of Health will continue to work with the Ohio Partners for Cancer Control, Ohio’s statewide cancer coalition, to increase awareness of breast cancer screening and to promote research for the prevention and control of breast cancer.

Improving breast cancer screening, early detection and follow-up is included in the Ohio Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan 2011-2014.  This plan can be viewed at:

  • Breast cancer statistics for Ohio and the 88 counties are available at:

  • Additional information is available at:

-          The American Cancer Society:

-          The National Cancer Institute:

Last Reviewed: 10/10/13