National Breast Cancer Awareness Month dates back to 1985, organized to help bring attention to the dangers of breast cancer in the United States. Since then, we’ve continued to fight the devastating effects of breast cancer on our communities through educational campaigns, fundraising, and research to find a cure.

In Mississippi, we average 429 deaths and 2,021 new cases of breast cancer every year. We have the lowest screening rate in the country, and more than a fourth of women in our state do not receive regular screening. Any woman can get breast cancer; however, our African American neighbors are more likely to die from the disease due to the socioeconomic disparities and lack of healthcare initiatives in our community. These tragic circumstances are reflected in the statistics, with breast cancer being the second leading cause of death among non-white women nationwide.

While breast cancer cannot always be prevented, everyone can significantly reduce their risk of disease by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Keeping a healthy weight, regular physical activity, a nourishing plant-centric diet, and eliminating nicotine consumption is crucial to prevention. Everyone should receive regular screenings from their primary care physician at least once every two years, men and women included. Self-screening, in combination with regular exams, can also increase the chances of early detection. If you cannot afford screening or are uninsured, the Mississippi State Department of Health’s Breast & Cervical Cancer program may be able to assist you.

At Roger’s Family Pharmacy, we know that prevention is key to maintaining overall health and wellness. While we do not offer mammograms or other breast cancer screenings, we encourage you to talk with your primary care physician about your options and what works best with your schedule. Early detection for breast cancer, and any other type of cancer, is the best way to ensure a positive outcome. Click here to visit the Mississippi State Department of Health’s website for more information regarding breast cancer. You may also consult your local pharmacist at Roger’s Family Pharmacy at (601) 582-8351 for additional information.