By Gerry Thomas

Breast cancer touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The American Cancer Society estimates that 288,130 women – and 2,000 men – in the United States will be diagnosed each year. During the month of October, we take the opportunity to remember and honor those who have fought the disease, and to raise awareness among others.

Check back throughout the month for stories from survivors and other information.

Because breast cancer is the second most common and deadly cancer among women in the US, and in Boston, we encourage all women to be dutiful about getting screened and mindful of changes in their body.  To make mammography accessible, the City of Boston partners with Dana Farber Cancer Institute to provide free community-based mammography to 3,500 low-income uninsured or underinsured Boston women each year. You can learn more about that program here.

If you are a survivor or an advocate, have recently been diagnosed or just want to learn more, there are many resources for information.

The American Cancer Society
Susan G. Komen
Stand Up 2 Cancer
National Breast Cancer Coalition
The American Association for Cancer Research
BPHC’s Pink and Black Campaign
Cancer Information Service

In addition, the Mayor’s Health Line at (617) 534-5050 or (800) 847-0710 provides free help obtaining public health insurance coverage and finding a provider.

Gerry Thomas is the acting director of the Community Initiatives Bureau, which oversees programs on cancer and other chronic disease prevention, environmental health, and other healthy community initiatives.