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Fargo Cass Public Health recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October



Fargo, North Dakota – Breast Cancer Awareness Month is observed nationally in October, with the goal of raising awareness of the value of early detection of breast cancer. With over 240,000 women receiving a cancer diagnosis each year, breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Approximately one in eight women in North Dakota will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives.

North Dakota’s early detection program for breast and cervical cancer, called Women’s Way, has an office at Fargo Cass Public Health (FCPH) and serves women in all 53 counties in the state.

Women’s Way is available to women who meet the eligibility criteria:

• North Dakota resident
• Are ages 40 – 64
• Ages 21 – 39, have breast symptoms (lump) or at high risk for breast cancer, are due for a Pap test, or need breast or cervical diagnostic procedures
• Have insurance that doesn’t cover mammograms and/or Pap tests or cannot afford to pay her deductible and/or co-payments or does not have insurance
• Meet income guidelines

To view the Women’s Way income guidelines go to

Caitlin Nitz, FCPH Women’s Way coordinator says, “Early detection with a mammogram is the best way to detect breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage. Women’s Way can help by providing early screening services for women who meet our program guidelines.”

As per the American Cancer Society, there is a 99% 5-year survival rate in cases of early detection and localized stage breast cancer. Cancer can be identified by mammograms up to 1.7 years before a lump is felt.

Although the precise origin of breast cancer is unknown, some risk factors, such as being a woman, being over 50, having a family history of the disease, and having a personal history of the disease, may raise one’s chance of getting the disease. Although there is no foolproof method to avoid breast cancer, some lifestyle decisions including consuming less alcohol, keeping a healthy weight, exercising, and adhering to a balanced diet will lower the chance of getting the disease. Maintaining your health throughout life will reduce your risks of getting cancer and increase your chances of surviving it should it strike. Be on the lookout for signs of breast cancer. See your doctor if you observe any changes to your breasts, such as a new lump or changes in the skin.

For additional information regarding Women’s Way, or to discover whether you qualify for a complimentary screening for breast or cervical cancer that might save lives, reach out to Caitlin Nitz at 701.298.6918 or 800-449.6636 toll-free.