DR. SHEILA PINETTE ON MAINE'S BREAST CANCER RATE
General information about breast cancer for Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
- Increasing age is the greatest risk factor for women. (The lifetime risk is 1 in 8.)
- Modifiable risk factors include sedentary lifestyle and obesity.
- Prevention: moderate or vigorous physical activity and maintaining a healthy body weight.
- Regular mammograms can result in the diagnosis of breast cancer at an early stage when it is most treatable, reducing mortality and avoidable costs.
- By statewide survey in 2010, 80.2% of Maine women, age 40 and older, reported having had a mammogram in the past two years. Women reporting no health insurance were much less likely to have had a mammogram (50.4%). (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System)
Other cancers for which screening is appropriate for specific age groups:
- Screening is recommended for colorectal cancer (beginning at age 50) and for cervical cancer (beginning at age 21). ***For these two cancers, screening can prevent cancer as well as detect it early. When these cancers are diagnosed early, cure is possible.
Cancer Rates in Maine:
- In 2009, 1,077 Maine women were diagnosed with breast cancer, down from 1091 in 2008 and 1100 in 2007.
- In fact, the number of new cases diagnosed is decreasing for all of the "screenable" cancers: for colorectal, cervical and breast, a small but persistent drop over the last decade is seen. For all cancer diagnoses combined, the numbers/rates are decreasing. Maine is now # 7 in comparison with other states, which represents an improvement from being in the "top 5" consistently.
- The death rate for breast cancer in Maine has also decreased, along with rates for colorectal, prostate and lung cancers (the 4 most common cancers). For all cancers combined, the latest state comparisons show that Maine is # 12, which represents improvement.
Maine CDC Cancer Screening Information:
- Eligibility is based on age, income and health insurance status (uninsured or underinsured);
- For more information, questions about eligibility or to enroll for breast, cervical, or colorectal screening, call 1-800-350-5180, press 1.
For more information on Dr. Sheila Pinette and the Maine CDC click here: MAINE CDC