Breast 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 patientâ€™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-Browardâ€™s Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. â€œMammograms can find breast cancer early, before it spreads and becomes more serious,â€ McKire explained. â€œWe encourage all women over age 40 to be screened. Early detection is the best protection.â€
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.