October 9, 2014

Governor Cuomo Highlights Free Cancer Screenings Available During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

TOP Governor Cuomo Highlights Free Cancer...

Approximately 100 Cancer Screening Events Offered to Uninsured or Low-Income New Yorkers


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today highlighted cancer screenings that are being offered to low-income or uninsured New Yorkers during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Approximately 100 events across the State are offering free breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings during the month of October.

“By offering free screenings to people who are uninsured or living on a low income, we are taking a proactive step to fight cancer in our communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “Early detection can play a large role in saving lives from cancer, and I encourage all New Yorkers to get checked today.”

These screening events are hosted by the Cancer Services Program, which is funded by the New York State Department of Health. To find a screening in their community and schedule an appointment, New Yorkers can click here or call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262).

Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death among women in New York State. In 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, more than 15,000 women were newly-diagnosed with breast cancer in New York, with more than 2,600 women dying from the disease. In addition to the national recognition, Governor Cuomo proclaimed October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in New York State.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “We’ve achieved incredible advances in the fight against breast cancer, yet estimates show that one in eight women will still face this challenge in their lifetime. It is imperative that women understand that early detection is crucial to successful treatment. I urge all New York women to get screened regularly to help prevent this tragic disease from taking more lives.”

The causes of breast cancer are still unknown, but several factors may increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer, including:

  • Advanced age
  • Being younger than 12 years of age at the first menstrual period
  • Starting menopause at an older age
  • Never giving birth or having delayed giving birth to a first child until age 30 or older
  • Not breastfeeding
  • Have a personal or family history (on the mother’s or father’s side) of breast cancer, or carrying certain gene mutations such as BRCA 1 or BRCA 2
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being sedentary
  • Having a history of radiation exposure to the chest
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy for an extended period of time.

Although there is still much to be learned about the causes of breast cancer, there are many ways men and women can live a healthy lifestyle and help improve outcomes related to cancer. These include not smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke, making healthy dietary choices, getting regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting recommended cancer screenings.

For more information about breast cancer, visit http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/index.htm

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office

NYC Press Office:  212.681.4640

Albany Press Office:  518.474.8418