The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for five counties.

-Maricopa, Pinal, and Yuma Counties will be affected from July 19 to 20.
-La Paz and Mohave Counties will be affected from July 19 to 21.

Daytime highs up to 118 degrees Fahrenheit are expected. Public cooling centers are available in some areas. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay informed.

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Breast cancer screening & awareness

Breast cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in Arizona. More than 5,000 women in the state had a breast cancer diagnosis in 2020.

Many women receive a late diagnosis. In Arizona, women are often diagnosed at a median age of 65, while it’s recommended most women begin receiving breast cancer mammogram screenings at age 40.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is held every year in October, but it’s never too soon to check yourself for symptoms and receive a screening that could save your life.

Know the signs & symptoms of breast cancer

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All women should undergo a risk assessment to determine if they are at high risk of breast cancer. “High risk” includes people who:

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  • Have a known genetic mutation.
  • Have first-degree relatives with premenopausal breast cancer or known genetic mutations.
  • Have a history of radiation treatment to the chest area before the age of 30 (typically for Hodgkin’s lymphoma).
  • Have a lifetime risk of 20% or more for development of breast cancer based on risk assessment models that are largely dependent on family history.

What to expect during a screening

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How long does it take?

The mammography itself will likely take about 10 to 15 minutes, but you may be in the clinic for up to an hour from the time you walk in to the time you leave.

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How is it done?

  • You will need to remove your clothes above the waist and you will be given a cloth or paper gown for the exam.
  • One at a time, your breasts will be positioned on a flat plate that will acquire the image. Another plate compresses your breast tissue. Very firm pressure is needed to obtain high-quality pictures.
  • You may be asked to lift your arm or use your hand to hold your other breast out of the way to obtain a better image. You will be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds while the images are being taken.
  • At least two pictures are taken of each breast, one from the top and one from the side.

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How does it feel?

The X-ray plate may feel cold and having your breasts flattened and compressed by the plates can be uncomfortable. Flattening your breast tissue is necessary to obtain the best images.

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What happens after the mammogram?

A radiologist will interpret the images from your mammogram. The technologist who administers the test cannot interpret or discuss what they are viewing while performing the exam. A report will be sent to your physician's office and they will contact you to discuss its results.

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Tips for preparing for your mammogram

  • To help minimize discomfort, schedule your mammogram to take place one week after your period (when breasts are less tender).
  • If possible, bring your previous mammogram documents with you, or a list of where and when you have had previous mammograms, to your appointment.
  • On the day of the mammogram, do not wear talcum powder, deodorant, lotion or perfume under your arms or on your breasts. These substances may contain aluminum flecks that may make the mammogram images harder to interpret.
  • If possible, wear a two-piece outfit so you only have to remove your top and bra for the examination. A blouse that opens fully in the front with buttons is optimal.
  • Any jewelry worn should be easily removable, especially if you will have an exam which requires you to lie face down.

Find screening locations near you

Breast cancer screenings are available to all patients at the Well Woman Clinics in the map below.

All patients ages 40 to 65, as well as symptomatic patients ages 21 and older, who are uninsured or under-insured can receive free clinical breast exams and mammograms. If necessary, diagnostic tests will be covered following the screening.

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Breast cancer by the numbers in Arizona

View the latest Arizona breast cancer data on the Arizona Cancer Registry data dashboard.

Reduce your risk of breast cancer

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Arizona Age-Adjusted Rates for Female Breast Cancer

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