Gov. Eloy S. Inos proclaimed the month of October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month yesterday in the Office of the Governor’s conference room amid a crowd wearing pink T-shirts in symbolic support of the fight against breast cancer.
“I urge all women in the CNMI to discuss a preventive and screening program with their health care provider and become aware that they are at risk of getting breast cancer. I ask all citizens to encourage the women in their lives to do the same,” Inos said.
The proclamation notes that breast cancer is the most common cancer among CNMI women. It is also the second leading cause of death in women nationally, exceeded only by lung cancer, and the chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a woman’s life is about 1 in 8.
Citing the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 232,340 new cases of female breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2015 and 36,620 females will die from the disease, the proclamation notes, while also noting that the mammogram—a x-ray picture of the breast—is recognized as the most effective method of detecting breast changes that may be cancer long before physical symptoms can be seen or felt in women 40 years of age and older.
“Clinical breast exams performed by your health care provider and a breast self-examination should be practiced by women 20 years of age and older on a regular basis…Since lifestyle factors contribute significantly to the risk of developing breast cancer, as well as most cancers, we encourage women to educate themselves and explore the ways in which they can decrease their risk for breast cancer by enjoying a health lifestyle,” Inos’ proclamation states.