As part of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District and Redwoods Rural Health Center encourages women to perform regular breast self-examinations and schedule recommended mammograms. Breast self-examinations, a clinical breast exam, and a mammogram are important tools in the early detection of breast cancer.
To reduce the risk of breast cancer, they encourage you to maintain a healthy weight, stay physically active, avoid tobacco use, limit your alcohol consumption, and obtain regular health screenings. Women ages 20 years and older are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once per month. Clinical breast exams should be performed by a primary care provider for women between the ages of 20 to 39 once every three years and annually for women 40 years and older.
Mammograms are the best method to detect breast cancer early when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend women between the ages of 50 and 75 receive a mammogram every two years. For women less than 50 years of age, specific breast cancer risk factors should be discussed with their primary health care provider when determining whether a mammogram is recommended.
Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. Mammography services are available locally at the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District. For further information or to schedule a mammogram please contact your primary health care provider.
Most health insurance companies pay for the cost of breast cancer screening tests. Low income, uninsured women that are aged 40 or older may qualify to receive free clinical breast exams and mammograms through the Every Woman Counts program.
Concerned about breast cancer or facing a diagnosis of breast cancer? The Humboldt Community Breast Health Project is there to support you and answer your questions. Call 707-825-8345 for a consultation.
If you are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer, free treatment is available to all Californians who qualify through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program. You’re also welcome to join the Breast Cancer Support Group held the first Wednesday of the Month, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Visiting Angels Office, located at 1719 Main Street in Fortuna.