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OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH Cancer Services Program Screens the Uninsured

Lauren Jacobsen
Manager of Public Relations
Peconic Bay Medical Center
Ph: 631-548-6827

Nicole Menard
Outreach Coordinator
Cancer Services Program of Suffolk County
Ph: 631-369-2770

RIVERHEAD, NY – Each year in New York, nearly 15,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 2,700 women die from the disease. These women are our wives, mothers, sisters, and friends.

The mission of the Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Suffolk County is to ensure that all age-appropriate women, despite insurance status, have access to breast cancer screening. Uninsured women who are 40 years of age and older may be able to get breast cancer screening through the Cancer Services Program of Suffolk County.

Breast cancer is most commonly found in women 50 years old or older. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends a mammogram every two years for women between 50 and 74 years of age. Women ages 40–49 years old are encouraged to talk to their health care providers about when and how often they should have screening mammograms. Any woman who is at high risk for breast cancer, as determined by a doctor, may need to begin screening earlier. Any woman, or man, who has symptoms or changes in their breasts should schedule an appointment with their doctor immediately. While very rare, it is possible for men to get breast cancer.

Although the causes of breast cancer are still unknown, some factors may increase a woman's chances of getting the disease:

  • Getting older - most women are diagnosed when they are 50 years of age or older
  • Having a first menstrual period younger than the age of 12
  • Starting menopause older than 55 years of age
  • Never giving birth, or giving birth to a first child after age 30
  • Not breastfeeding
  • Having had breast cancer or some non-cancerous breast diseases
  • Having a close family member (parent, sibling, child) who has had breast cancer, especially at an early age
  • Having certain gene mutations such as BRCA 1 or BRCA 2
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Exposure to high levels of ionizing radiation to the chest area early in life
  • Long-term use of hormone replacement therapy

Even if a woman has one or more of these risk factors, it does not mean she will get breast cancer. And, women with few or no risk factors may develop breast cancer. This is why screening is important for all women.

This June, New York State passed legislation designed to help more women access breast cancer screening. The legislation expands screening hours at hospitals and clinics and removes insurance barriers.

Peconic Bay Medical Center, Grossman Imaging Center & Cancer Services of Suffolk County are partnering together for the month of October hosting two events to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. On October 1st, there is an event at the Grossman Imaging Center in Manorville called Massages, Mimosas & Meditation including a presentation on breast health from 9am-12pm. On October 5th at Peconic Bay Medical Center, a lunch and learn on breast health will begin at 12pm. To register for these events, please call 631-548-6827.

Visit the New York State Department of Health website for more information about breast cancer, including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Contact the Cancer Services Program of Suffolk County at 631-369-2770


About Peconic Bay Medical Center

Located in Riverhead, NY, Peconic Bay Medical Center is a non-profit hospital committed to providing exceptional care and improving the health of the communities it serves.  Peconic Bay Medical Center offers wide-ranging, full-scope services and programs along with state-of-art technology.  Peconic Bay Medical Center joined Northwell Health (formerly North Shore-LIJ), in 2016.  For more information, visit


About Cancer Services Program

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Cancer Services Program (CSP) oversees a statewide, comprehensive cancer screening program providing breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings for eligible, uninsured and underinsured men and women.

About Northwell Health

Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 21 hospitals and about 500 outpatient practices. We care for more than 1.8 million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 61,000 employees – including 15,000+ nurses and 2,500+ full-time doctors within Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit