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News Release
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Kaiser Permanente physicians want to warn that missing regular breast cancer screenings can lead to worse health outcomes.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Kaiser Permanente physicians want to warn that missing regular breast cancer screenings can lead to worse health outcomes.
Breast Cancer Warning: Dr. Sheila Jhansale available for interviews (Photo) - 10/04/22

PORTLAND, Ore. (Oct. 5, 2022): Breast cancer screening rates declined steeply during the pandemic, with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reporting a drop as much as 87%. Kaiser Permanente data shows those rates beginning to recover, but the number of people coming in for breast cancer screenings is still 30% below pre-pandemic rates.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Kaiser Permanente physicians want to warn that missing regular breast cancer screenings can lead to worse health outcomes. Every woman between ages 40 and 75 is encouraged to catch up on this important preventive care.

“The earlier breast cancer is found, the more easily and successfully it can be treated,” said Dr. Sheila Jhansale, primary care physician lead at Kaiser Permanente Northwest. “As a result of regular self-examinations and mammograms, breast cancer is being detected at an earlier state, but mammogram screening rates are not back to their pre-pandemic numbers.”

Breast cancer will affect one in eight women, according to the CDC, which says that breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Mammograms have worked wonders for early detection of this cancer, and treatments have made great strides. Death rates in women over age 50 have fallen, according to the American Cancer Society, although the CDC says that African American women are still more likely to die from it.

As a national leader in the percentage of members receiving breast cancer screening, Kaiser Permanente breast cancer patients have a lower mortality rate compared to national benchmarks and we encourage spreading the word this October that screenings can save lives.

Interviews available

Dr. Sheila Jhansale, primary care physician lead at Kaiser Permanente Northwest, is available for available for Zoom or phone interviews with media this Wednesday, Oct. 5 from 1-5 p.m. Contact Karen Vitt to schedule.

 Dr. Jhansale is prepared to discuss:

  • Importance of regular breast cancer screenings (early detection)
     
  • Methods of breast cancer screenings (self-exams, mammograms, etc.)
     
  • Breast cancer risk factors and prevention
     
  • Breast cancer diagnosis and treatments

Breast Cancer Fast Facts:

  • One in eight women in the United States (about 13%) will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
     
  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2022, it's estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
     
  • Death rates have been steady in women under 50 since 2007 but have continued to drop in women over 50.
     
  • In women under 45, breast cancer is more common in Black women than white women. Overall, Black women are more likely to die of breast cancer.

ABOUT KAISER PERMANENTE 

For 75 years, Kaiser Permanente has been committed to shaping the future of health and health care — and helping our members, patients, and communities experience more healthy years. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Since July 21, 1945, Kaiser Permanente’s mission has been to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.4 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.

For more information, please visit: about.kaiserpermanente.org

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