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Iowa Deaths from Breast Cancer Down Again

September 29, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa - Every year 2,000 Iowa women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Other than skin cancer it is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. But thanks to early detection, a woman's risk of dying of breast cancer has dropped 31 percent since 1989. The American Cancer Society (ACS) thinks that more mammogram use is one the reasons that breast cancers are being found at the earliest stages.

Lynette Ritchie of Des Moines is a breast cancer survivor who found a tumor on her own.

"It was just a lump in my breast. I went to the doctor right away actually, to get it looked at."

That was seven years ago. She says, like many women, she didn't believe she was susceptible to breast cancer.

"When I was diagnosed I kinda brushed it under the rug -- I was healthy, I exercised I did all the right things. I actually had no history of breast cancer in my family."

The ACS has invested more on breast cancer research than any other cancer, more than $400 million since 1971. Those who want to sign up for an e-mail mammogram reminder can go to www.cancer.org.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA