Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
October 20, 2016

Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9356

Nebraska is Making Great Strides Against Breast Cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Lincoln—“I think, in fact I know if it hadn’t been for this program, the cancer would have developed with possibly dire consequences.  Thank you so much!  You may have saved my life.” – Julie

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Every Woman Matters Program helps eligible women 40-74 years old receive preventive screenings that can save lives.

 “Every Woman Matters has been a major factor in increasing the use of mammography and decreasing the mortality rates through early detection and life-saving treatment,” said Judy Martin, Deputy Director of Public Health for DHHS. “Nebraska’s breast cancer death rate of 20.8 per 100,000 is just a fraction away from the 2020 Healthy People goal of 20.7.”

Nebraska has a mammography screening rate for women 50-74 within the past 2 years of 76 percent, according to the most recent data. That is up from a screening rate of 43 percent when the Every Woman Matters Program began in 1991. 
Nebraska Breast Cancer Facts (2009-2013):
  • 7,829 Nebraska women were diagnosed with breast cancer
    o 6,388 with invasive breast cancer
    o 1,441 with non-invasive (in situ) breast tumor
  • 1,133 women died from breast cancer
  • 70 percent of female breast cancer cases in Nebraska were diagnosed at an early stage. The most recent national data show that the 5-year relative survival rates for female breast cancer are nearly 100 percent for early stage diagnoses, but are much lower for later stage cases at 26 percent.

Every Woman Matters has played a role in saving the lives of women across the state:

“Everything they have done for me has been a blessing.” Stacey
“This program has meant a lot to me because it helps pay for medical costs that I can’t afford...because my mother and grandmother have both had breast cancer.” Ronda
“My sister got breast cancer. I was able to get a mammogram to make sure I didn’t have breast cancer.” Barbara

Screening for breast cancer is known to save lives. Every Woman Matters works to educate women on the risk factors as well as the importance of being screened for breast cancer. Risk factors include age, a personal or family history of breast cancer, genetic traits (BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes), some forms of benign breast disease, early menstruation, late menopause, never having children or having first child after age 30, and for post-menopausal women, obesity and long-term replacement therapy.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s recommendation is women 50-74 should get a mammogram every 2 years. Women 40-49 years old or women who think they may have a higher risk of breast cancer should talk to their physician about when to have a mammogram.

Every Woman Matters has helped women receive 129,631 mammograms, 146,083 pap smears, and 202,716 office visits to date.  The program has diagnosed 962 invasive breast cancers, 231 ductal and lobular breast cancers, and 80 invasive cervical cancers.

Every Woman Matters is a CDC and state funded program that provides free and low-cost mammograms for Nebraska women 40 to 74 years, who meet certain income eligibility guidelines. To find out if you qualify visit: or call 800-532-2277