National Mammography Day

By: Tanya Kramer, LPC.

This day is celebrated on the third Friday in October every year, so this year it is celebrated on October 21st, 2022.  This day was first proclaimed by President Clinton in 1993.

On this day, along with throughout the month, women are encouraged to make a mammography appointment.

The American Cancer Society reported that early detection of breast cancer while the cancer is still localized results in a 5-year relative survival rate of 99%.

So along with mammograms, women should also perform a once-a-month breast self-exam.  Johns Hopkins Medical Center states, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important”.

Women can use the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc website to learn how to do a self-exam and what to expect at a mammography appointment:  

Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in the United States. Breast cancer can also affect men, but at much lower numbers.

In 2022, an estimated 287,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the US.  An estimated 2,710 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer.

There are over 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, which is something to celebrate.  In the US, the trends show a gradual reduction in female breast cancer incidence among women aged 50 and older since 1990.

Some possible reasons for this decrease include a decline in prescriptive hormone replacement therapy after menopause, better screening and early detection, increased awareness, and continually improving treatment options.

It is important to recognize that there are disparities in care for breast cancer in the US (taken from the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. website).  

  • Breast cancer death rates are 40% higher among black women than white women
  • Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for Latin women living in the US (2nd leading cause of cancer death in women in the US)
  • 47% of women put off or postponed preventive services due to costs
  • Poverty, less education, and lack of health insurance are associated with lower breast cancer survival rates
  • 49% of uninsured women delayed or went without care due to cost
  • 30% of uninsured women were up to date with breast cancer screening in 2018, compared to 64% of insured women

Breast Cancer affects women globally, and it is the most common cancer among women worldwide.  The World Health Organization acknowledges that breast cancer claims the lives of hundreds of thousands of women each year, affecting countries at all levels of modernization.  So having designated events to get the word out about the importance of getting a mammogram can save lives.  October 4-6, 2022, is also called “Pink Week” to bring awareness to breast cancer.  You can learn more about this week and other events throughout the month of October by checking out the Breast Cancer Resource Center website: