WINDOW ROCK – On Monday, Oct. 3, President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez, in coordination with the Navajo Department of Health and the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention Program, signed a proclamation declaring October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month on the Navajo Nation.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths among women. Factors that may increase the risk of developing breast cancer include family history, age and genetics. Mammograms, regular self-breast examinations and clinical breast exams are vital because they can help clinicians diagnose cancer before it has a chance to spread.
Regular screenings remain the most effective way to identify breast cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages. To ensure mammography is available to all Native American women, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides funding for mammogram screening services through the Navajo Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention Program.
“Our Navajo women carry with them the gift of life. They are very special in nurturing our people, furthering our future generations and preserving culture. Historically, they have carried our culture forward and continued our clan system,” President Russell Begaye said. “This month I encourage all our Navajo women over 40 to get a mammogram to reduce any possible risk they might have of breast cancer.”
The Office of the President and Vice President (OPVP) continues to foster and promote healthy lifestyles in physical, emotional and spiritual wellness.
“Breast Cancer Awareness Month is about more than just wearing the pink ribbon. It is an opportunity for health screenings for men and women because cancer does not distinguish between genders. We must remain physically active and employ a healthy lifestyle to prevent cancer and other diseases. Please take advantage of this time for a health screening,” Vice President Nez said.
In signing this declaration, OPVP is calling upon Government officials, businesses, communities, health care professionals and educators to reaffirm the Nation’s commitment to preventing, treating and curing breast cancer.