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NYC Health + Hospitals Urges New Yorkers To Get Mammograms This Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat

Women who are 45 to 54 years old and are at average risk should get a mammogram once a year; Women 55 and older should get one every two years

Oct 17, 2022

NYC Health + Hospitals today reminded New Yorkers to schedule a mammogram as the health care system observes National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the second-most common form of cancer among women in the United States after skin cancer. Men can also get breast cancer, although such cases are rare. In the U.S., breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women, after lung cancer. About 970 women in New York City die from breast cancer each year and about 6,300 are newly diagnosed. Black women tend to have a higher death rate from breast cancer than their White, Latino, and Asian/Pacific Islander counterparts. To schedule a mammogram or other breast cancer screening, New Yorkers should call 844-NYC-4NYC (844-692-4692). If you already have a primary care doctor at NYC Health + Hospitals or Gotham Health, they can help you set up an appointment. Referrals can also be made as part of a routine virtual visit with your provider.

Mammograms cannot prevent breast cancer, but they are the best way to find it early. When breast cancer is detected before it has spread beyond the breast, the survival rate is 99 percent. Some people who have breast cancer have no signs or symptoms. Early detection can help you prevent breast cancer from spreading to other parts of your body. Women between the ages of 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year. Experts recommend that women 45 to 54 years old get a mammogram every year. Those 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms.

“Getting a late-stage breast cancer diagnosis is tragic. But finding breast cancer early could be a tragedy averted,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Machelle Allen, MD. “Routine breast cancer screenings save lives. NYC Health + Hospitals has appointments available and these exams only take about 20 minutes to complete. Do it for yourself and the people you love most.”

“Schedule your mammogram at NYC Health + Hospitals today! Early detection is key when it comes to diagnosing and treating breast cancer,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Chief Women’s Health Officer Wendy Wilcox, MD, MPH, MBA, FACOG. “It is especially important for Black women and women of color, who have equal rates of breast cancer but are usually diagnosed at a later stage with a more aggressive type. Having your regular mammograms can help to save your life!”

“Mammograms save lives by finding cancer at an early stage when it is highly curable,” said NYC Health + Hospitals System Chief of Radiation Oncology Sewit Teckie, MD, MBA. “It is even more important for women to get a mammogram if they have postponed or skipped this vital screening because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage all women to schedule their mammogram at NYC Health + Hospitals as soon as possible.”

You are more likely to get breast cancer if you:

  • Do not exercise regularly
  • Have obesity
  • Take combination estrogen-progesterone hormone replacement therapy during menopause
  • Currently use certain birth control pills
  • Have a family history of breast cancer
  • Have a specific gene mutation for breast cancer, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2
  • Began menstruation before age 12 or started menopause after age 55

Breast cancer or an abnormality cannot always be seen or felt. However, if you experience any of these symptoms, speak with your doctor immediately:

  • A new lump in the breast or underarm
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
  • Dimpling breast skin
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast
  • A nipple that turns in or becomes sunken
  • Pain in the chest

Most health insurance plans cover mammograms and other breast cancer screenings. If you do not have health insurance, we can still screen you for breast cancer and give you a mammogram. Learn more here.

NYC Health + Hospitals can help you apply for health insurance. If you don’t qualify, we can help you enroll in NYC Care, our health care access program that works like insurance.

Contact: 212-788-3339; PressOffice@nychhc.org

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthandHospitals or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.