Officials from the Chronic Disease Service of the state Department of Health are urging Oklahoma women to “think pink” this month and get a breast cancer screening as recommended by their health care providers.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in Oklahoma women, and last year, 30.7 percent of Oklahoma women reported not having a mammogram in the past two years. That is a larger percentage than was reported nationally at 26 percent.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say factors that increase the risk for breast cancer include increasing age, genetic risk factors and a sedentary lifestyle.
Additional information and a complete list of breast cancer risk factors can be found on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.
Most women who are 50 to 74 years old should have a screening mammogram every two years. In most cases, a mammogram must be ordered by a health care provider.
Oklahoma has more than 100 mammography facilities that can provide mammograms for women, and most insurance companies cover the cost of the screenings.
Women who are uninsured, low income or 50 or older may qualify for a free clinical breast exam and mammogram through the Take Charge! Program. For more information, call the program at 271-9444, ext. 57113, or (888) 669-5934.