Growing Number of IA Survivors Celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month
DES MOINES, Iowa - This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Iowa and the yearly event is among the reasons why the number of survivors continues to grow across the state and nationwide.
The death rate from breast cancer in this country has dropped by more than a third over the past 25 years. Roger Dahl, executive director with Susan G. Komen in Iowa, says increased awareness has led to an increase in women getting regular screenings and that saves lives.
"Because in those early stages of breast cancer it is far more treatable," says Dahl. "The variety of treatment options available today make early detection even more important."
Dahl recommends women get annual mammograms starting at age 40 or talk to their health provider about the possible need for earlier screenings if they have certain risk factors, such as family history.
Dahl notes that risk factors or not, around one-in-eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
"So we really try to emphasize, don't assume that breast cancer does not impact you, because chances are, sooner or later, unfortunately it will," he says.
In Iowa, there are about 2,400 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer each year along with around 400 deaths.