How, why to screen during breast cancer awareness month

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - In this week's Health Watch, we took a look at a non-profit's mission to increase breast cancer awareness in the Interior and beyond.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Around the country people dedicate this month to educate and advocate the importance of early detection and recognize survivors and those diagnosed. The Breast Cancer Detection Center, or BCDC, has been giving women an opportunity to get screened since 1976. Odette Butler the CEO of BCDC spoke about the services they provide.

"We are a 501 C-3 non-profit that provides mammograms here to women both who can pay and those who cannot pay, and we also have a big 34 foot freight liner truck that goes throughout the state of Alaska to provide mammograms to women as well," she said.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is one of the leading health crises for women in the United Sates, with one in eight being women being diagnosed. Butler spoke about some preventive measures.

"We encourage women to look at their bodies, which is really hard to do, to look in the mirror every day. Take a look to see if there are any changes," she said.

Genetics and age can also be significant factor in a woman's diagnosis.

"You have to know what your normal is, and if there's any question, you should always go to a doctor to get them to check it out. To tell you, this is normal. This is why we encourage women who have a family history to get a base line at age 40, so that we can see what normal looks like," she said.

Butler says all the rules for preventing breast cancer are the same for living a healthy lifestyle.