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Friday, January 27, 2023

Marion County commissioners promote breast cancer awareness

The Marion County Board of County Commissioners recognized the month of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month during its regular meeting that was held on Tuesday, October 4.

October is nationally recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to bring awareness, donations, and avenues of treatment into the spotlight on behalf of those who are affected by this disease. The Marion County commissioners hope that lives can be saved through the acknowledgment of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and citizens are encouraged to schedule a mammogram on a routine basis.

Healthcare professionals gather onstage with commissioners at the Marion County Commission auditorium for the Breast Cancer Awareness Month proclamation.
On October 4, the commissioners and healthcare professionals gathered onstage during the Breast Cancer Awareness Month proclamation (Photo courtesy of the Marion County Board of County Commissioners)

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 states that the age-adjusted death rate from breast cancer in Marion County is 14.5%, which is nearly 5% higher than the statewide death rate (9.8%).

Although mammograms have been proven to significantly reduce breast cancer mortality risk by 30%, 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 breast cancer.

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 will be taking place throughout the county during the month of October to help bring awareness and resources to the public, including:

  • A mammography event on Saturday, October 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Women’s Club of Dunnellon Clubhouse (11756 Cedar Street in Dunnellon).
  • “We Can” Weekend – a community cancer education and support event for adults who are facing cancer, survivors, and their families. This event will be held on Saturday, October 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at One Health Center (1714 SW 17th Avenue in Ocala).
  • Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk/Run on Saturday, October 22, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 703 N Bueno Vista Boulevard in The Villages.

For more information about breast cancer and the early detection program, please visit the Florida Department of Health in Marion County or National Breast Cancer Foundation websites.