The Florida Department of Health in Marion County (DOH-Marion) recognizes the month of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and encourages the community to “Wear It Pink” on Friday, October 21.
According to DOH-Marion, the rate of breast cancer diagnoses in Marion County has generally aligned with the state average over the past few years. However, data shows that the county’s death rate from breast cancer has jumped 71% in recent years.
In 2017, there were 8.5 deaths from breast cancer per 100,000 residents in Marion County. That figure rose to 14.5 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2020, which is the most recent year that this data is available.
For comparison, DOH-Marion states that Florida’s statewide death rate was 9.8 per 100,000 individuals in 2020.
To help promote the need for more breast cancer awareness, education, and research, the Florida Department of Health’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (BCCEDP) advocates that people don pink attire this Friday for Wear It Pink Day.
DOH-Marion and BCCEDP also view Wear It Pink Day as a moment to urge women in the community to get a breast exam as part of an early-detection routine.
A yearly breast exam is recommended for all women aged 20 or older, according to DOH-Marion. Women who are 40 years of age or older are encouraged to get a yearly mammogram, which could be a life-saving event.
For women who are uninsured or under-insured, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program works to provide free or low-cost breast cancer screenings for qualified clients. If you do not qualify, the program can still assist with finding resources for screenings within Marion County.
To learn more about the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, click here or call 1-800-226-6110.