King County Council proclaims Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 18, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 18, 2011

King County Council members declared October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to recognize cancer survivors and people battling breast cancer.

Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Issaquah’s representative, encouraged women to undergo regular screenings for breast cancer.

“The medical screening process is easy and fast and should be part of the regular health care routine for women older than 40,” she said after the council issued the proclamation Monday. “Early diagnosis and treatment has proven effective in saving lives.”

In addition to celebrating cancer survivors, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a reminder of the importance of annual mammograms and regular self-examinations.

“Breast cancer is a disease that affects us all. It is critically important that women receive yearly mammograms for early detections,” Issaquah-area Councilman Reagan Dunn said. “My Mom was very important in my life.  For the sake of sons and daughters who depend on their Mom, women should be aware of the risk and the resources for early detection.”

Early detection is critically important in fighting breast cancer, but the screening rate is in decline. Less than 50 percent of 1.5 million women over the age of 40 with health insurance received the recommended annual screening, a recent study noted.

“Millions of Americans have beaten breast cancer, but early detection is the key,” County Executive Dow Constantine said. “Our goal in proclaiming Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to encourage annual tests for all women over the age of 40 and to reverse the decline in screening rates for this deadly disease.”

Komen Puget Sound Executive Director Cheryl Shaw joined council members for the proclamation. The foundation’s local affiliate has invested almost $23 million to fund local breast health education, screening and treatment support in Western Washington, and for research to find a cure for breast cancer.

“Because more than 50 percent of women with insurance are not being screened and underserved women still need screening assistance, our goal is less talk and more action, and get everyone involved to help save lives and find a cure for this disease,” she said.

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