Beware: High Breast Cancer Rates In Parts Of Broward County

Author  Bob LaMendola

When breast cancer goes undetected, the tumour becomes bigger, more invasive and far more dangerous to the afflicted woman or man. That’s why the Florida Department of Health in Broward County (DOH-Broward) has noted a few areas of the county with high numbers of late-stage breast cancer cases. DOH-Broward has targeted women from eight ZIP codes with the highest rates of breast tumours that go undetected until they reach serious status (stages three and four).

mammogramBreast tumours detected before they spread (stages one and two) are easier to treat and far less likely to be fatal. But late-stage tumours more often claim the patient’s life within a few months or years.

On average, 36 percent of breast tumours in Broward are diagnosed as late-stage cancer, about the same as in the state and nation. But university researchers identified eight Broward ZIP codes as having high rates of late-stage tumours, up to 53 percent of total cases. ZIP codes with high numbers of late-stage cases were:

  • 33004 (Dania Beach)
  • 33023 (Miramar, West Park, Pembroke Park, Pembroke Pines)
  • 33028 (Pembroke Pines)
  • 33068 (Margate, North Lauderdale)
  • 33309 (Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Lauderdale Lakes, Tamarac)
  • 33311 (Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Wilton Manors, Oakland Park)
  • 33317 (Plantation)
  • 33332 (Weston, Pembroke Pines)

Families with little or no health coverage or access to health care make up many of the late-stage cases, but not all, according to Trivel McKire, health educator in DOH-Broward’s Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. â€œMammograms can find breast cancer early, before it spreads and becomes more serious,” McKire explained. “We encourage all women over age 40 to be screened. Early detection is the best protection.”

DOH-Broward offers free mammograms to qualified, underinsured women ages 50 to 64. The program schedules the tests and arranges follow-up care if abnormal results are found. Screenings are available for qualified, underinsured women. For more information, call 954-762-3649. Story and photograph submitted by , Florida Department of Health in Broward County.