HAZARD, Ky (WYMT) - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a disease that affects thousands of women each year and some men too.
Charlotte Brewer with the American Cancer Society recently sat down with WYMT's Katie Roach during a taping of Issues and Answers: The Mountain Edition.
More than 200,000 women are diagnosed every year with breast cancer.
The month of October is dedicated to making sure women know the signs of this life changing disease and also know how to detect it early.
Although monthly self breast exams are encouraged, Charlotte Brewer with the American Cancer Society says a yearly mammogram starting at age 40 is key to early detection.
She says it's not as scary as it used to be.
"A lot of women used to dread mammographies. They would hear horror stories or that it hurts, but now with the digital mammographies the compression is a lot less," said Brewer.
She also says there have been advancements in research recently that will one day hopefully lead to a cure.
"We are definitely steps ahead than we were in the 1950s. Years ago people heard the word cancer, and people gave up, but there are millions and millions of survivors of cancer living today," said Brewer.
She hopes and believes that one day there will be a cure.
"We want to get a handle on it. We want to find cures for all the cancers out there. We want to find treatments for all of them so we can one day turn out the lights, lock the door, and take the sign down and go home," said Brewer.
But until then, she says the American Cancer Society will be there to offer assistance and hope for those going through this life changing disease.
For more information about The American Cancer Society, you can visit their website at www.cancer.org.