Louisiana has the second highest breast cancer death rate in the country. We say this over and over again at Louisiana Cancer Prevention (LCP). And we say it over and over again because it doesn’t need to be this way.
Breast cancer can be detected early and cured. When we catch it early, it is almost 100% survivable. Catch it in stage II, it’s 93% survivable, and even in stage III, the odds are still very favorable, with a 72% survival rate.
So even though October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – know that the fight goes on every day.
No-Cost Mammograms at LBCHP
To catch breast cancer early, women need to be screened for breast cancer. We know lots of women have trouble getting regular mammograms, and that’s precisely why our Louisiana Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (LBCHP) exists. We provide no-cost mammograms and Pap tests to Louisiana women who qualify.
That means women without insurance, and even women with insurance, but who maybe can’t afford a co-pay or don’t have transportation. It means women who are scared and maybe just need a caring person on the other side to help them find where to go. It means the woman who doesn’t speak English and needs help. It means the woman who gets a cancer diagnosis, but doesn’t know what to do next.
We can help with all of that! All it takes is contacting us at our toll-free line at 1-888-599-1073 or going to our website at lbchp.org and contacting our provider nearest you. If you are having breast problems or symptoms, if you are over 40 or 50 and never been screened, contact us today! If not for yourself, do it for the people around you.
Young Breast Cancer and SuriveDAT
People also need to know that young women (under age 45) can get breast cancer too – and that it is more common in the South because black women, for reasons we don’t understand yet, tend to get it younger. These women have to deal with a whole different set of issues than older women who get the disease, such as how treatment might affect their fertility. Genetics are also more likely to be a factor, which has implications for treatment, as well as the whole family – including male relatives. Then there are the issues surrounding dating, telling your children you have cancer and a whole list of other concerns.
That’s why we offer online resources at SurviveDAT (survivedat.org). Specifically for young breast cancer survivors, there’s expert advice available on a range of topics, tips and stories from young women actually going through the process, plus an extensive list of resources that can help young women do everything from get financial help to find a local makeup artist who can draw back eyebrows lost to chemotherapy. If you are a young woman suffering from breast cancer, know one who is, or are loved one or caretaker of such a woman, you need to check out SurviveDAT. You are not alone.
Louisiana Cancer Prevention & Control Programs Communications Manager