Post Content

Bigby_JudyAnn_2Posted by:
JudyAnn Bigby, MD, Secretary of Health and Human Services

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is not only a time be aware of breast cancer, but it’s an opportunity to learn more about the proactive steps women can take to protect themselves. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer among adult women in the United States, and the second leading cause of death from cancer among women.
  • One out of every eight adult women will get breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • The risk of breast cancer increases with age.
  • Although White women are the most likely to get breast cancer, Black women have the highest mortality rate. 

What can you do to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer? 

1. For women 40 and older, consider getting a mammogram.  Early detection means that treatment can begin earlier in the course of the disease, possibly before it has spread to other parts of the body.  According to National Cancer Institute (NCI), studies show that screening with mammography can help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer among women ages 40 to 74, especially for those over age 50.  So, if you are in your 40s, ask your health care provider whether you should get a mammogram. If you are 50 or older, consider scheduling a mammogram today. For more information about mammography, please visit:  http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Detection/mammograms.

2. Get involved.  There are many local and national organizations working to raise awareness about breast cancer.  A number of breast cancer organizations participate in the State Employee Responding as Volunteers (SERV) program and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Employee Charitable Campaign (COMECC). Consider donating your time, or making a monetary contribution to a reputable organization.   

There is some good news to report. National health care reform, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), requires that by 2014 group health plans cannot require co-pays for preventative services, including breast cancer screenings.  This is an important reflection of increased awareness about preventative care and provides us with a preview of how national health care reform will have a profound positive impact on all Americans, including residents of the Commonwealth.

Written By:


Communications Office

Recent Posts

Weekly Flu Report, February 17, 2017 posted on Feb 17

Rates of flu-like illness have risen over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, it’s not too late – there’s still plenty of flu vaccine available. Call your health care provider or local board   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, February 17, 2017

Love Your Heart This Valentine’s Day! posted on Feb 14

Love Your Heart This Valentine’s Day!

By Eliza Mellion, M.S. This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget that—thanks to the American Heart Association—February is American Heart Month! It can be hard to resist the chocolates, candy hearts, and pink-frosted cupcakes that this holiday brings.  While it’s fun to shower our loved ones with   …Continue Reading Love Your Heart This Valentine’s Day!

Weekly Flu Report, February 10, 2017 posted on Feb 10

Rates of flu-like illness continued to increase over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. The good news is that there is still time to protect yourself this flu season by getting a flu shot. There is plenty of vaccine available –   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, February 10, 2017