County BCAM

Healthcare professionals gather onstage with commissioners at the Marion County Commission auditorium for the Breast Cancer Awareness Month proclamation.

The Marion County Commission recognized October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month during their October 4 regularly scheduled meeting. October is nationally recognized in an effort to bring awareness, donations, and avenues of treatment into the spotlight on behalf of those affected by this disease. The county commission hopes that lives can be saved through the acknowledgment of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and that citizens would be prompted to schedule a mammogram on a routine basis.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer and second-leading cause of cancer-related death. The Florida Department of Health in Marion County indicates the age-adjusted death rate from breast cancer in Marion County is 14.5 percent compared to 9.8 percent statewide.

Although mammograms have been proven to significantly reduce breast cancer mortality risk by 30 percent, this preventive appointment continues to be the largest deterrent for early detection. This screening is recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, American College of Physicians, and it is covered by Medicare.

Marion County residents can access mammogram screenings for early detection of breast cancer at locations throughout the county, including HCA Florida Ocala Imaging Center and Radiology Associates of Ocala. These centers provide access to screening and treatment options for this disease.

Throughout the month of October, national, state, and local organizations and coalitions, including the Cancer Alliance of Marion County, HUGs, American Cancer Society, Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute, Advent Health Ocala, Radiology Associates of Ocala, Michelle-O-Gram, HCA Florida Ocala, Hospice of Marion County, Marion County Medical Society, Florida Department of Health in Marion County, and Heart of Florida Health Centers are collectively expanding awareness of these life-saving screenings.

Many events and fundraisers are happening throughout the county during the month of October to help bring awareness and resources to the public. The Women’s Club of Dunnellon hosted a mammography event on Oct. 8.

“We Can” Weekend is 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at One Health Center, 1714 SW 17th Ave., Ocala. It’s a community cancer education and support event for adults facing cancer, survivors, and their families.

For more information about breast cancer and the early detection program, visit The Florida Department of Health in Marion County’s website at marion.floridahealth.gov or the National Breast Cancer Foundation at nationalbreastcancer.org.

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