MASON, Ohio--()--The following is an opinion editorial provided by Erin Hoeflinger, President, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio:
Sometimes breast cancer arrives without a calling card. There might not be a lump or a pain or any physical sign that something is wrong.
Because of the improvements in treatments and technology, early signs of breast cancer can be identified without the presence of symptoms. We know that early detection of breast cancer does save lives.
For a variety of reasons, many women in Ohio don’t take advantage of this important screening tool. So, as a wife, daughter, mother of my own two daughters, and a woman who makes health care decisions every day in my personal and professional life, I’m using this opportunity to unabashedly take advantage of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to send this reminder.
Nearly 23 percent of the women over 50 years old eligible for screening did not get it in the last two years. That’s very close to the national average of 22.2 percent; Ohio ranks 23rd. We know this from publicly available Ohio data that we incorporate into our own State of the Health Care Report. Our hope is to one day report much better numbers!
According to the National Cancer Institute, detecting breast cancer early greatly increases patient survival rates and, if cancer is found before it spreads to the lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate can be greater than 98 percent – a very good number!
Based on recommendations of national medical organizations, such as the American Cancer Society and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield encourages annual mammography screenings for women ages 40-49 or those with greater risks for developing breast cancer. For women ages 50-74, mammography screenings are recommended every other year.
Both men and women can take action to encourage screening by reminding colleagues, family and friends of the importance of mammography screenings and early detection and, if appropriate, to schedule their own mammography today.
If you are a busy mom like me, it’s tough to find the time to fit it all in. But remember, it’s not just for you – it’s for you and all of the loved ones around you.
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Community Insurance Company, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.