With breast cancer the second-leading cause of cancer death among women, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) encourages state residents to take time to learn about breast cancer and important, recommended screenings.
In 2016, 411 Wyoming women were diagnosed with breast cancer. It is estimated that more than 265,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women other than cancers of the skin.
“There are many treatment options available for breast cancer,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH. “For now, the best way we have to find breast cancer early – when it’s small and has not spread – is for women to get regular mammograms.”
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends the following breast cancer screening guidelines:
- Women between the ages of 40 and 49 with an increased risk for breast cancer due to family history, genetic disorder or other factors should speak with their doctor about screenings.
- Women ages 50 to 74, should get a mammogram every two years.
- Women older than 75 should speak with their doctor about continued breast cancer screenings. In addition, Harrist said women can take steps to help lower their risk of breast cancer:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Stay active.
- Limit alcohol to no more than one drink a day.
Wyoming women who do not have insurance coverage, but who need breast cancer screening, may contact the Wyoming Cancer Program (WCP). “We don’t want cost to be a barrier,” Harrist said.
The WCP reimburses participating healthcare providers for screening services using state funds and federal funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Contact the WCP at 1.800.264.1296, [email protected], or visit www.health.wyo.gov/cancer.