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Now's the Time North Dakota: Mammography Day

PHOTO: A mammography offers the best tool to detect breast cancer early, increasing treatment options and improving odds of survival. Photo credit: Army Medicine/Flickr.
PHOTO: A mammography offers the best tool to detect breast cancer early, increasing treatment options and improving odds of survival. Photo credit: Army Medicine/Flickr.
October 17, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. - Women across North Dakota are being reminded of the importance of early detection for the successful treatment of breast cancer on this National Mammography Day. Barbara Steiner, clinical coordinator, Woman's Way, North Dakota Department of Health, says the sooner a tumor is discovered, the higher the chances of survival.

"If it's in the earliest stages of breast cancer, a woman has a 98-percent chance of being alive in five years," says Steiner.

The American Cancer Society recommends a woman get a mammogram every year from age 40 on. Those with risk factors such as a family history of breast cancer are urged to discuss the situation with their health provider even sooner.

For those North Dakotans who don't have insurance or can't afford the procedure, Steiner says there are options with no cost through the Women's Way program with nearly 300 locations taking part statewide.

"We have certain income guidelines they need to meet, and if they meet the guidelines then we can enroll them in the program," says Steiner. "There's also Medicaid expansion now available for women up to the age of 64, and that also will help pay for mammograms."

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2014 alone, 510 women in North Dakota will be newly diagnosed with breast cancer and 90 women will die from the disease.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND