October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month


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This month, VA would like to raise awareness of breast cancer and emphasize the importance of early detection. One in every eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the National Cancer Institute. That’s why we encourage women to begin annual mammograms by age 45 and have them every other year starting from age 55. The overall five-year survival rate of breast cancer is 89.7%, but if detected early enough—while the cancer is still localized in the breast—the rate of survival increases to nearly 99%. As the leader in nationwide breast cancer screenings among women Veterans, we remain deeply committed to improving and expanding available services to prevent and combat this disease.

Here are some additional ways we’re enhancing care for women Veterans:

• Expanding access to onsite mammograms by 62%
• Adopting American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines for breast cancer screenings
• An enhanced Breast Cancer Registry (BCR) – information technology that coordinates data on patient-specific cancer screenings and treatment, and population surveillance of breast care
• Over $390 million in exam room renovations and construction
• Women Veterans’ Primary Health Care training for over 1,100 providers

Women are the fastest-growing group within our Veteran population. Understanding their changing needs and giving them the tools to take charge of their health is a top priority at VA. Want to join us in the fight against breast cancer and help deliver top-quality care to all Veterans? If so, search for opportunities near you and apply today.

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VA Careers

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