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ACS: Now is No Time to Become Lax Fighting Breast Cancer

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October 7, 2009

DES MOINES, Iowa - This year, more than 2,000 Iowa women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and roughly 400 will die from it. As frightening as these statistics may seem, however, they are vastly improved from where they were in 1990. Breast cancer deaths have dropped about two percent a year since that time.

Chuck Reed, spokesperson for the American Cancer Society's (ACS) Iowa chapter, says early detection has made the prognosis for breast cancer cases much brighter, in Iowa and elsewhere.

"If you will just do two simple things, talk to your doctor, stay on top of your physical health and then get your screenings or mammograms. If you do those two things, we are going to lower breast cancer by quite a ways."

Reed predicts the rate of fatalities will continue to drop, and says it could even be accelerated with more targeted treatment, greater access to mammography, and availability of treatment for the poor and uninsured.

"We have to keep working to get funding for underinsured and uninsured women to get their screening opportunities because, if we find it at an early stage, it's 98 percent treatable."

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. To learn more about cancer or to get help, visit www.cancer.org or call the ACS 24-hour hotline, 1-800-227-2345.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA