PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth Fire Department (PFD) Breast Cancer Awareness Drive 2019 is in full swing. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sales from the 2019 shirts, cook books, and window clings will go to the Plymouth Fire Department American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Team 2020.

The shirts are made of Gildan Dry Blend ® cotton and polyester blend. They are black with hot pink and white designs on the front and back and are available in small, medium, large and extra large in long or short sleeves while supplies last.

Purchases can be made in the front lobby of the PFD building located at 111 N. Center St., Plymouth. Questions can be directed to PFD Administrative Assistant Marilyn King by emailing mking@plymouthfd.net, stopping in during regular office hours, or by calling 936-2156.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is a disease in which the cells in the breast grow out of control. There are a variety of cancers that affect the breast, some which impact men. 

Some of the factors that influence each individual’s risk cannot be changed such as genetic history and age. There are ways to lower the risk of developing breast cancer by maintaining a healthy weight, exercise on a regular basis, and avoid alcoholic beverages entirely or limit them to no more than one a day. 

For those who have a family history of breast cancer or have inherited changes to BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, it is recommended by the CDC to talk to your doctor about additional options to lower the risk of developing breast cancer. 

According to cdc.gov, breast cancer, not counting some kinds of skin cancer, is the most common type of cancer in women regardless of race or ethnicity. 

The CDC supports the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) which provides breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostics to low-income, uninsured, and underserved women. To be eligible for free or low-cost screenings through the program, you must have no insurance or your insurance does not cover screening exams, your yearly income is at or below 250% of the federal poverty level, you must be between 40 and 64 years of age for the breast cancer screening, and are between 21 and 64 years of age for the cervical cancer screening. There are cases were women who are younger or older may qualify for services. Those interested in finding out if they qualify for a low-cost mammogram or Pap test and where to go to obtain services may call 317-233-1325.

The Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program is located within the Indiana State Department of Health; 2 North Meridian St., Mailstop 6B-F4, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

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