October is a month devoted to breast cancer awareness, an annual health campaign, where communities gather and host walks, share knowledge, and celebrate survival. Breast cancer has touched so many of the closest people in our lives, from family members, dear friends and work colleagues. Through donations, planned giving, participating in walks, or volunteering, there are many ways we can help to find a cure.
Except for skin cancer, breast cancer
is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of death among woman in New York State. However, early detection can make all the difference in winning the battle against this disease — the five-year relative survival rate is close to 100%. Women can live healthier and longer lives by early detection measures including scheduling annual physicals and mammograms.
In the United States alone, there are over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors, which can be attributed to earlier detection and better treatment. It is crucial that women over the age of 40 get a mammogram every year. To impart the importance of mammograms, in 1993, President Clinton proclaimed the third Friday in October as National Mammography Day (October 19, 2018). This day serves as a reminder to all women that the best defense is early detection. A mammogram can often detect a problem well before there is any outward physical sign.
New York State has been at the forefront of promoting good breast care through mammograms with legislation enacted in 2017 that:
Eliminates annual deductibles, co-pays and co–insurances for women with NYS insurance. NYS insurance companies will be responsible for full payment of some breast imaging services such as screening and diagnostic mammograms (including 3D mammography), ultrasound, and MRI. Please note that this does not mean women will never have a payment as not all services are covered in full under the law. Insurance companies based outside NYS are not required to follow the NYS law.
Requires all public employers to provide their public employees with four hours of leave each year for breast cancer screening.
Extended hours of screening for at least four hours per week will be required of NYS hospitals and hospital extension clinics to help women who have difficulty scheduling mammograms during the typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday.
You are invited to a seminar to raise awareness and educate individuals about breast cancer. Register: NACC Event.
Workers’ World Today is a free publication that empowers all workers, regardless of social or political affiliations. Distributed throughout New York City, our paper has a mission to educate workers and provide them with relevant information pertinent to the workforce such as workers’ compensation, discrimination on the job, workers’ rights, and more.