NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10: Katie Couric speaks on stage during the Daily Front Row Fashion Media Awards at The Rainbow Room on September 10, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Daily Front Row)

The doctors at ProCure Proton Therapy Center applaud TV personality Katie Couric for bringing more attention to the importance of annual mammograms as a life-saving tool against breast cancer.

Couric, the former host of NBC’s “Today Show,” was diagnosed in June after falling behind on her annual mammogram. After undergoing surgery in July and radiation treatment in September, Couric shared her story to raise awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

“Ms. Couric’s story highlights the importance of scheduling your annual mammogram, even if you’ve fallen behind,” said Dr. Brian Chon, ProCure Medical Director in a press release. “Unfortunately, data continues to show that women fell behind on their screenings during the pandemic and many have yet to catch up.”

The 5-year survival rate for breast cancer detected before it spreads is 99 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. But a statewide poll of more than 200 New Jersey women, conducted earlier this year by ProCure and MW Healthcare, found that nearly half of women ages 45 and older skipped their mammogram in 2021.

“Detecting breast cancer at an earlier, more treatment stage has a significant impact on the outcome of a diagnosis,” Dr. Chon said. “If you haven’t scheduled your mammogram in over a year, October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a great time to do so.”

ProCure, New Jersey’s most experienced proton therapy Center, has treated more than 6,000 patients in its first 10 years. Proton therapy targets cancer more precisely than traditional radiation, which means less damage to nearby healthy tissue, including the heart and lungs.

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