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Breast cancer is the cancer most-diagnosed in American women. Early detection is the key to overcoming the disease.

Each year more than 220,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer. Dr. Robert Mocharnuk (Mo'-chur-nuck), associate professor of hematology and oncology at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, explains the importance of annual breast exams for early detection of breast cancer.

[audio:siubreastcancer1.mp3]Exams[/audio]

Dr. Mocharnuk, who is also on the staff of the Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU, recommends that women have annual mammography screenings after age 40. He says screenings have helped improve survival rates in recent years.

[audio:siubreastcancer2.mp3]Screenings[/audio]

Insurance companies and Medicare are required to cover mammography screening for breast cancer. Low-income women without insurance may qualify for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer program. For more information about the program, call the toll-free number, 1-888-522-1282, or talk to your personal physician about breast cancer screening.

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