Health
Thursday, October 24, 2002
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Since the program began in 1985, mammography rates have more than doubled for women aged 50 and older (from 25 percent in 1987 to 67 percent in 1997) and breast cancer deaths have declined by 1.8 percent each year since 1992. In spite of this progress, there are still women who do not take advantage of early detection at all and others who do not get screening mammograms and clinical breast exams at regular intervals. The Breast Cancer National Quality Improvement Project is a three-year project of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) designed to increase mammography use among female Medicare beneficiaries. The Medicare Quality Improvements Organizations (QIOs) for all states and territories are participating in this national initiative. Quality Insights of Delaware is the QIO in the state of Delaware. Here are some fast facts about mammography.
  • Over 75 percent of breast cancers are found in women aged 50 or older.
  • Mammography rates for women aged 65 and older are lower than for younger women.
  • Mammography is the best method of detecting breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage - an average of nearly two years before a woman can feel the lump. It also locates cancers that cannot be felt during a clinical breast examination.
  • Mammography detects about 90 percent of breast cancers in women with no symptoms.
  • The majority of women with breast cancer have no risk factors.
  • Having one first-degree relative with breast cancer approximately doubles a woman’s risk.
  • Medicare covers annual screening mammography for women 40 and older who are covered under the program. Medicare also covers one baseline mammogram for women aged 35-39.
In addition, the Medicare Part B deductible has been waived, leaving only 20% co-payment for the recipient.
  • African American women with breast cancer are more likely to die from the disease than Caucasian women.
  • Breast cancer causes more deaths in Hispanic women than any other form of cancer.
For more information about certified mammography facilities in your area call the Delaware Chapter of the American Cancer Society, at 800-227-2345, or the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition at 302-778-1102/ For more information about breast cancer and the national breast cancer project, visit the project website at www.natbreastcancer.com

Test to detect prostate cancer offered at NMH
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will provide PSA screenings on Thursday, Oct. 31. The blood tests will be offered in the Community Room, adjacent to the main lobby of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. The fee for the test will be $5. Results will be mailed approximately two weeks after the event. Prostate cancer is the most frequently occurring cancer in men. Between 1980 and 1990, prostate cancer incidence increased 65 percent. It is believed that this increase was the result of improved early detection. There is expected to be a further increase related to the use of the prostate specific antigen blood test. Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a substance that is produced by the prostate gland. Men normally have a small amount of this substance in the blood. PSA levels differ according to age and tend to rise after the age of 60. PSA can be affected by several conditions in the prostate such as the normal enlargement in the prostate, which occurs with aging. Infection or inflammation and surgery to the prostate can also cause increased levels. There is no specific level of PSA that tells whether prostate cancer is present; however the higher the level, the more likely it is that cancer may be developing. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital encourages men over the age of 50 to take advantage of this service. If you are 40 years old and at high risk of developing this cancer you are also encouraged to participate. African-American men are at high risk for developing prostate cancer, as are men who have a family history of the disease. For additional information on the PSA screening contact Jill Green at 302-629-6611, extension 2560.
Public Flu Shots
As a public service to Delaware residents, local public flu immunization clinics will be offered throughout the state.The CDC recommends that everyone age 50 and older receive flue vaccine. They lowered the recommendation from age 65 and older because one quarter or more of people between ages 50 and 64 have chronic medical conditions that could place them at higher risk of serious illness or death from influenza. Due to a possible delay, the CDC recommends that for this season, emphasis be placed on those aged 50-64 with chronic medical conditions, in addition to all people age 65 and up and anyone with a chronic medical condition. Following is a list of the clinics and if an appointment is necessary:
  • Thursday, Oct. 31 - Happy Harry’s, Seaford Center, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., No;
  • Thursday, Oct. 31 - Greenwood Senior Center, Rt. 13 South, Greenwood, 9 a.m.-noon, 349-5237, Yes;
  • Tuesday, Nov. 12 - Shipley Center, 350 Virginia Ave., Seaford, 9 a.m.-noon, 628-2000, No;
  • Thursday, Nov. 14 - Shipley Center, 350 Virginia Ave., Seaford, 9 a.m.-noon, 628-2000, No.


Pediatric first aid course
Parents, teachers, and day care providers can increase their caregiving and safety skills with a course in pediatric first aid at Delaware Technical & Community College, Owens Campus, Georgetown. Pediatric First Aid covers managing pediatric emergencies including convulsions, burns, poisoning, drowning, fractures, sprains, bleeding, and insect bites. Special emphasis on rescue breathing/ choking. The course is approved by the Office of Child Care Licensing for a three-year certificate. Two-session courses meet Nov. 12 and 14, 6-9 p.m. The cost is $30. For information and/or to register, call Corporate & Community Programs at 854-6966.

Massage therapy clinics
Students in the Massage Therapy program at Delaware Technical and Community College, Owens Campus, Georgetown, will be scheduling appointments for hour-long massage sessions for only $30 as part of their training program. Sessions are available on Fridays and Saturdays beginning Oct. 25, and 26. Friday hours are 2-4 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Subsequent dates will be Nov. 1, 2, 8 and 9, and Dec. 6 and 7. Appointments may be scheduled by calling Sandy at 856-5400, Ext. 3190.