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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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By Angela Swartzman

October 14, 2016

Contact: Angela Swartzman, Administrator
Florida Department of Health in Lee County

Fort Myers, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott has proclaimed October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Florida. Aside from non-melanoma skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Survival rates have increased over the last 10 years and early detection continues to be critically important. The Florida Department of Health in Lee encourages all women to receive regular screenings to promote early detection and treatment.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of breast cancer goes up with age. Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when treatment is more effective. Women should talk with their health care provider about individual risk factors and the frequency of receiving mammograms.

The CDC recommends regular mammograms and paying attention to the following changes in the look and feel of the breast, including:

  • A new lump in the breast;
  • A lump that has changed in size;
  • A change in the size and shape of the breast;
  • Pain in the breast or nipple that does not go away;
  • Flaky, red or swollen skin anywhere on the breast;
  • A nipple that is very tender or that turns inward; and
  • Blood or any other type of fluid coming from the nipple that is not milk when nursing a baby.

The Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (FBCCEDP) provides access to the breast and cervical cancer screenings doctors recommend. The screenings are free or low cost if you meet program eligibility requirements. DOH-Lee provides no-cost breast and cervical cancer screenings, including mammograms, pap smears, pelvic exams and clinical breast exams, to women who are 50 to 64 years of age, low-income and uninsured or under-insured.

To see if you qualify, call Marie Brown at 239-332-9535 or call the American Cancer Society National Hotline at 1-800-227-2345 to get more information on the program.

Medicare insurance also provides mammograms to women age 65 and older without a copay. Please call 1-800-633-4227 for information on receiving mammograms through Medicare.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook.  For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit

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