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Announcement: Breast Cancer Awareness Month --- October 2009

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most frequent type of cancer in women, and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women (1). In addition, approximately 30% of women aged ≥40 years have a disability (2), and during 2008 women aged ≥40 years with a disability were less likely to have a mammogram (72.2%) than were women without a disability (77.8%) (2). To decrease delayed diagnosis of breast cancer, health-care providers should encourage and schedule mammograms every 1--2 years for all women aged ≥40 years, including those with disabilities.

Women with disabilities disproportionately encounter barriers to preventative health care, which can be reduced by improving environmental access, enhancing provider training and education, increasing outreach efforts to women with disabilities, and improving overall health education. To encourage women with disabilities aged ≥40 years to get screened for breast cancer, CDC has launched the Right to Know campaign (available at The campaign includes resources and materials that can assist health-care professionals, organizations, and their partners in effectively communicating the need for early and regular breast cancer screening for women living with physical disabilities.  


  1. US Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States cancer statistics: 1999--2005 cancer incidence and mortality data. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC and National Cancer Institute; 2009.
  2. CDC. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey data. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2008.

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Date last reviewed: 10/15/2009


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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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