Women in Anne Arundel County have a higher rate of breast cancer than in other areas of the state and the country, according to statistics from the county's Department of Health.
Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Patch has assembled stories of survivors, local groups that work to battle cancer and programs you can take to inform yourself about cancer.
According to Anne Arundel County's 2012 Community Health Report Card, the mortality rate for breast cancer patients was 25 per 100,000 women—exceeding the national rate goal of 20.6, between the years of 2004-2008.
The Capital reported that mortality rates between 2000 and 2009 have dropped to below the state's levels, but are still higher than the national average.
The incidence of breast cancer was also reported as higher than average, with 1,720 new cases between 2004-2008, giving the county a rate of 123.2 per 100,000 women. The state's rate was 122.4, and the nation's rate was 121.1.
Elin Jones, a Department of Health spokesperson, said there has never been a study to explain why Anne Arundel County's breast cancer rates are higher than average, but she recommended that all women be screened for breast cancer regularly.
"We don't know a definite answer as to why, but people should definitely have regular screenings according to their health care providers," Jones said.
Between October and November, the department is hosting free cancer screenings and informational sessions throughout the county.
- Oct. 20, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.—Pathways to Opportunity Fair, Pip Moyer Community Recreation Center, 273 Hilltop Ln., Annapolis
- Oct. 27, 1-4 p.m.—Disability Awareness Day, Westfield Annapolis Shopping Mall, Annapolis
- Nov. 8, 2-7 p.m.—Anne Arundel County Department of Health Flu Immunization Clinic, 3 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis
- Breast Cancer Support Groups in Broadneck
- Shop Pink in Broadneck to Benefit Breast Cancer Awareness
- Think Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness Events in Annapolis