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Biden: "Early Breast Cancer Detection Saves Lives"

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Biden: "Early Breast Cancer Detection Saves Lives"

Biden Reminds Women to Get Yearly Mammogram on Eve of National Mammography Day

On the eve of National Mammography Day, October 19th, U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) reminded all women to get their annual mammogram and encouraged families to support early breast cancer detection efforts by the women they love. Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate passed Sen. Biden's resolution designating October 19, 2007 as National Mammography Day in the United States. This is the 15th consecutive year Congress has recognized Sen. Biden's resolution.

"We know that women often avoid getting a mammogram because they are afraid of what they may find or afraid they cannot afford it," said Sen. Biden. "During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, remind the women you know how the importance of early breast cancer detection and circle October 19th on the calendar."

The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society strongly recommend periodic mammograms for all women over 40 and earlier for women with a family history of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 3 million women are living with breast cancer and about 2.3 million have been diagnosed with the disease. An estimated 1 million women do not yet know they have the disease.

Although the risk of breast cancer increases with age and differs by race and ethnicity, early detection can help save lives. Traditional mammograms provide safe, effective screening for breast cancer, and new techniques like digital mammography and computer-aided detection show promise to make mammography much more rapid and precise than ever before. After all, early detection of breast cancer continues to result in extremely favorable outcomes: 98 percent of women with localized breast cancer will survive 5 years or longer.

"We don't want women to let down their guard," said Vicky Cooke, Executive Director of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. "Mammography continues to be one of the single most important tools we have in the fight against breast cancer. Survival rates have increased and it's due to early detection and treatment."

"We know that thousands of lives can be saved each year with early breast cancer detection," added Sen. Biden. "Every year, there is better medicine, better technology and a better shot at curing breast cancer at every stage. National Mammography Day is one small part of making this dream a reality."

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