Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the CDC, 210,203 women in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 40,589 women died from the disease, in 2008 (the latest year for which statistics are available). With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.

Breast cancer screening can often lead to earlier detection and treatment of the disease. Most health insurance companies pay for the cost of breast screening tests.  For those people worried about the cost, the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) offers free or low-cost mammograms and education about breast cancer.  You can find out if you qualify here.

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are sharing a story of a breast cancer survivor.  Kathleen Tebb, a 39-year-old mother of two children, was diagnosed and had a mastectomy followed by aggressive treatment, including radiation.  With the help of physical therapy, Kathleen was eventually able to resume one of her passions—rock climbing.  Read more about Kathleen’s story here, and check out an interview with her below.


For more stories from breast cancer survivors, check out the latest posts on Kaiser Permanente’s Care Stories Blog.

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