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Guest Column: State Sen. Tom O'Mara

“Truths about Breast Cancer Awareness Month”

ALBANY, Oct. 13, 2019 -- Every month on the calendar brings another round of national observances. In September, for example, we observed National Preparedness Month and Hunger Action Month.

October brings its fair share, too. Last week, I highlighted Domestic Violence Awareness. This week, let’s remember that October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Consider just a few of the following facts about breast cancer, courtesy of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR):

--More than 3 million women in our country are now living in the aftermath of a breast cancer diagnosis;
--Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the United States;
--A woman in the United States has a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer during her lifetime;
--The overwhelming majority (approximately 85%) of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no relatives with the disease;
--True prevention means stopping breast cancer before it develops;
--When it comes to breast cancer, help lower your risk by making responsible health choices; and
--If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, ask questions.

The BCCR has compiled a “31 Things to Know About Breast Cancer” fact sheet (one “truth” for each day of October) that you can find on the coalition’s website,

I’ll focus on Truth #31: No one needs to go through breast cancer alone. That’s the driving force behind Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s intended to highlight the fundamental importance of awareness, for everyone, and to let patients and their families know that there are local organizations, hard at work every day, offering the information and support that’s needed for effective education, prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and, ultimately, survival.

Organizations like the Susan G. Komen Twin Tiers Region (, the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes (, and the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester ( are doing just that throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.

We are incredibly grateful for their efforts to raise awareness, find a cure and, all along the way, help survivors and their families carry on.

Additionally, state laws, programs, and services are available to help assist with a range of concerns involving breast cancer awareness, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. One of these, the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program, has been offering emotional support and valuable information for nearly the past four decades with the state’s support. In fact, it is the longest-operating breast cancer hotline in America (800-877-8077) with a mission “to educate, support, empower, and advocate for breast cancer patients, professionals, and the community.”

As stated on the Adelphi website (, “We are here to answer your questions. We are here to provide you with someone to talk to who understands what you are going through. We are here to guide you to resources that may help you, in the community you live in. We are here to support and empower you to make the decisions that are right for you. We are here for you.”

In August, New York State enacted a new law expanding access to annual mammogram screenings for women in their 30s. Prior to the law’s enactment, insurance companies were only required to cover annual screenings for women over the age of 40, despite statistics showing that 1 in 227 women in the United States between the ages of 30 and 40 are diagnosed with breast cancer. More than 12,000 cases of breast cancer detected annually affect women under the age of 40.

I’ll stress again this “truth” about breast cancer: No one needs to go through breast cancer alone.

Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara

Schuyler County Officials

Legislature Members:

Top row (from left): Dennis Fagan, Jim Howell, Michael Lausell, Van Harp

Bottom row: Carl Blowers, David Reed, Phil Barnes, Mark Rondinaro


Legislature Chairman

Dennis Fagan, Tyrone 607-292-3687

Legislature Members:

Carl Blowers

Van Harp

Jim Howell

David M. Reed

Michael Lausell

Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen, 481-0482

Mark Rondinaro

County Clerk: Linda Compton, 535-8133

Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222

Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222

County Treasurer: Harriett Vickio, 535-8181

District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383


State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County

Sen. Charles E. Schumer

United States Senate
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3201
DC Phone: 202-224-6542
DC Fax: 202-228-3027
Email Address:

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand

United States Senate
478 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
DC Phone: 202-224-4451

State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)

Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2091
Fax: (518) 426-6976

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano-- Steuben, Schuyler, Yates
Room 723, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-5791


© The Odessa File 2017
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869