LANSING, Mich. ‒ To recognize October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, increase awareness of this major cause of cancer deaths in Michigan women and promote available information resources, all official state of Michigan social media accounts will be “going pink” Oct. 15-19.
The “M” in the Pure Michigan logo, usually seen in blue or green, will be made pink in social media profile images and platform backgrounds. State of Michigan department web pages, the official Michigan.gov portal and Gov. Rick Snyder’s website will also display the pink “M” for the cause.
“This invasive disease has touched so many lives, and while we have made great strides in raising breast cancer awareness, it’s crucial to remind women everywhere to take charge of their health,” said Snyder, whose wife, first lady Sue Snyder, successfully battled breast cancer. “Early detection is key to survival. With regular screening, breast cancer is most likely to be detected at an earlier stage, when it is most treatable.”
With a collective following of nearly 1 million users among its 137 total social media accounts, the state of Michigan is launching the campaign to engage citizens with a series of messages that will include breast cancer screening tips, information and resources.
Snyder also has proclaimed October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to highlight the importance of early detection of breast cancer and to encourage women to get screened for breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among Michigan women and the most commonly diagnosed cancer, with an estimated 7,710 women to be diagnosed in 2012.
The Michigan Cancer Consortium, Michigan Department of Community Health, American Cancer Society and the American Medical Association recommend that women age 20 and older have a clinical breast exam performed by a health care provider every three years. Women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram and clinical breast exam every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health.
Although every woman is at risk of developing breast cancer, some factors increase a woman’s likelihood of developing the disease. These risk factors include:
- Increasing age.
- A personal history of breast cancer.
- A family history of breast cancer (especially pre-menopausal onset) in a mother, sister or other multiple relatives.
- High-dose radiation to the chest.
- Never giving birth or having a first child after the age of 30.
- A long menstrual history.
Women who cannot afford a mammogram may qualify for free breast cancer screening and diagnostic services through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP). To be eligible for the program, women must meet the following criteria:
- Have an income below 250 percent of the federal poverty level (for example, in 2011 a family of two can earn up to $36,775 per year and still qualify).
- Be uninsured.
- Be between the ages of 40 and 64.
For more information on the BCCCP, call 877-588-6224 or visit www.michigan.org/bcccp. For more information about state of Michigan social media initiatives visit www.michigan.gov/socialmedia. To learn more about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit www.nbcam.org.