ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with Oct. 15 as National Mammography Day. The American Society of Radiologic Technologists represents health care professionals who perform mammograms and other diagnostic imaging exams and who support breast cancer prevention. The ASRT and its members promote breast cancer awareness by showing the importance of screening by mammography. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 215,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2004 and an estimated 40,580 deaths from breast cancer will occur (40,110 women and 470 men). Yet the ACS shows that there is a 97 percent survival rate if the cancer is detected early.(1) While the rate of women getting yearly or biannual mammograms has increased during the past decade and the mortality rate has declined by about 20 percent, almost 40 percent of women over 40 have not had a mammogram within the last year. According to ACS, mammography screening beginning at age 40 can prevent approximately 16 percent of all deaths from breast cancer.(2, 3) "Many women justify not getting mammograms because they deny that breast cancer will have an impact on their own lives," said Cathy Parsons, B.S., R.T.(R)(M)(QM), administrative director of medical imaging at Cumberland Medical Center in Crossville, Tenn. "The truth is that there are women with no risk factors at all who develop breast cancer -- some who are in their early 30s." Even though risk for breast cancer increases with age, many women are not including screening as part of their health care routine. For women at high risk, minorities and those with low incomes, this problem is even more severe.(4) With these frightening statistics, facilities around the country are acknowledging Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Mammography Day by offering free or discounted mammograms. To identify a facility in any area that is participating in awareness programs visit the American College of Radiology Web site, www.acr.org, and click on ACR Quick Links. "Many women believe that mammograms are painful," continued Ms. Parsons, who is president-elect of the ASRT. "They sometimes can be a little uncomfortable, but that few minutes of discomfort might save your life someday." About ASRT The ASRT is an Albuquerque-based association representing more than 113,000 members nationwide who perform medical diagnostic imaging procedures or plan and deliver radiation therapy. The Society is the largest radiologic science organization in the world. (1) American Cancer Society Web site, http://www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/CAFF2004PWSecured.pdf. (2) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control Web site, http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/burdenbook2004/Section03/mammog.htm. (3) American Cancer Society Web site, http://www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/CAFF2003BrFPWSecured.pdf. (4) American Cancer Society Web site, http://www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/CAFF2003BrFPWSecured.pdf.
SOURCE American Society of Radiologic Technologists