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USA breast cancer deaths drop

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Black Sticks hockey player Gemma Flynn has joined the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation as an ambassador, determined to help get the message about breast awareness out to Kiwi women after her own grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer twice in three years. Younger women of both races benefit equally from timely treatment, but differences in death rates still exist for black and white women over age 50, a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates.

Although October is specifically aimed at breast cancer awareness, the firefighters are focused on raising awareness and support for survivors and victims of varying types of cancer. "One pathway being a curative treatment, being surgery, that removes the entire breast or a mastectomy, the alternative treatment, which we call breast conserving therapy is where you have a lesser surgery", Galloway said.

"Women are learning about breast cancer types and doctors are as well, and treatments are being done that are more effective", Richardson said. With a cancer found as a lump or other symptom, 10-year survival drops to 75%. Screenings may still have their place, especially for older women with a family history of breast cancer, but the research team argues that they're unnecessary for most people.

Dr. Jacqueline Miller is medical director of the CDC's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.

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Evangelia Henderson, chief executive at the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, said she's thrilled to have Flynn on board as ambassador.

They're not alone in that; poor white women are also much less likely to get adequate care, and more likely to die as a result. However, obesity has been shown to increase breast cancer risk, particularly after menopause.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and according to the American Cancer Society 1-in-8 women in the USA will be diagnosed in their lifetime.

'The best thing about my job is that I get to spend every day learning new things about cancer, which can be gradually built up to a greater understanding of the disease in patients. Many more lives probably could be saved if even more women and their health care providers took advantage of these tests.

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