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Proclamation 6746—National Mammography Day, 1994

October 18, 1994

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The threat of breast cancer touches everyone. All women are at risk for breast cancer, including those with no family history of the disease. This year alone, 182,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer; 46,000 will die. The risk of death is reduced significantly if the cancer can be found in the earlier, more treatable stages. With appropriate breast cancer screening and state-of-the-art care, experts expect to see a 30 percent drop in the death rate. Together, we must work to make sure that every woman is informed about breast cancer and about the importance of regular examinations, including high-quality screening mammography. And we must ensure that all women have access to this invaluable preventive care.

Today, mammography is considered the most effective method for detecting early stage breast cancer. Many cancers can be seen on a mammogram as soon as 2 years before they could be detected by a woman or her physician. But only half of all women ages 50 and older have had a mammogram in the past 2 years, and as few as 30 percent have mammograms routinely. African American women experience a higher death rate from breast cancer than white women, and recently we learned that this is primarily because they are diagnosed at more advanced stages of the disease. Researchers have concluded that if we are to improve the survival rate of African American women, we must develop strategies aimed at increasing their use of and access to early detection techniques such as mammography.

We can all be encouraged by the progress in improving and monitoring mammography. As of October 2, 1994, provisions of the Mammography Quality Standards Act of 1992, requiring national, uniform quality and safety standards, went into effect. Mammography facilities must now meet stringent requirements and be certified to ensure they are providing high-quality service. In addition, scientists currently are working to apply American know-how to improve mammography and to develop high-technology imaging methods to detect breast tumors. Digital mammography, for example, may enhance the quality of mammographic images and even magnify the view of specific areas of the breast. Scientists also are exploring such technologies as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound imaging for this purpose.

In recognition of the crucial role mammography plays in the battle against breast cancer, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 220, has designated October 19, 1994, as "National Mammography Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.

Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 19, 1994, as National Mammography Day. I invite the Governors of the 50 States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, and the appropriate officials of all other areas under the American flag to issue similar proclamations. I ask health care professionals, private industry, advocacy groups, community associations, insurance companies, and all other interested organizations and individual citizens, for the sake of American women and for their loved ones, to unite in publicly reaffirming our Nation's continuing commitment to the provision of breast cancer screening.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and nineteenth.

Signature of William J. Clinton


William J. Clinton, Proclamation 6746—National Mammography Day, 1994 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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