2006-09-29 / Community

Senator Advocates Breast Cancer Awareness

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, State Senator Malcolm A. Smith recently called for all New Yorkers to discuss the importance of breast cancer screening and early detection.

"Take charge of your health with monthly self breast exams, regular visits to the doctor, and periodic screening mammograms," said Smith. "Women may avoid medical care when they find a suspicious lump because they fear what they might find.

But the truth is eight out of ten breast lumps are not cancerous.

If you find something out of the ordinary, though, it's very important to see a physician immediately."

Senator Smith noted that anyone can get breast cancer, including men, and that African-American women are especially at risk because their mortality rates are higher than all other racial and ethnic groups.

"While the percentage of men diagnosed with breast cancer is very small," Smith said, "men should also do monthly self-exams and bring any changes to their physician's attention. This year, 1,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 400 will die.

Men are not immune to this deadly disease."

An excellent resource for New Yorkers with questions or concerns about breast cancer is the Adelphi New York Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program, which directs callers to community resources and provides telephone support through volunteers, all of whom are breast cancer survivors.

The toll-free hotline, 1-800-877-8077, offers information and support.

"Get beyond the myths," the Queens lawmaker said. "Call and get the answers you need."

Queens residents can get information about mammograms available at little or no cost by calling:

+ Queens Health Living Partnership

American Cancer Society

(718) 263-2225

+ NYC Health and Hospital Corporation

Call 311, ask for mammogram information.

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