For Immediate Release
October 1, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in women and the second leading cause of cancer death in Kansas. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is encouraging women to become aware of the risks and learn about the effectiveness of screening for the disease.

In Kansas in 2005, there were 1,815 cases of female breast cancer and 378 deaths attributable to the disease. Nationally, nearly 182,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 and 41,619 died.

“Routine screening and prompt treatment can greatly improve a woman’s chances of surviving breast cancer,” said Dr. Howard Rodenberg, Director of the KDHE Division of Health and State Health Officer. “In addition, eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise are important for preventing all types of cancer.”

Breast cancer screening involves checking the breasts before there are signs or symptoms of the disease in order to diagnose problems at the earliest possible stage of cancer. Three ways are used to screen for the disease:

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women regardless of race or ethnicity. KDHE promotes breast cancer screening for all women and provides services for age appropriate, low income, uninsured women through its Early Detection Works program. This program served about 6,000 women last year providing clinical breast exams and mammograms through a network of providers across the state. For more information about the program visit the Web site at or call toll free 1-877-277-1368.