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NAPLES, Italy — The U.S. Naval Hospital in Naples has kicked off its breast cancer awareness campaign a month early, officials said.

The American Cancer Society typically observes National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

“We will run a breast health awareness campaign for both the months of September and October,” said hospital executive officer Capt. Mark Bernier. “Naval Hospital Naples elected to start in September to take the opportunity to emphasize the ‘early’ in early detection.”

Annually, more than 1.2 million people will be diagnosed with breast cancer worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Additionally, about 179,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year, Navy Capt. Dale Molé, the hospital’s commander, wrote in a base newspaper column.

From Sept. 24 through the second week of October, patients can schedule an all-inclusive breast health appointment, including mammography, clinical breast exams and teaching patients how to examine their own breasts, Bernier said.

The hospital also will feature speakers and survivors to talk about the importance of early detection. The programs are available to all who receive their health care at the Naval Hospital.

People are asked to contact the hospital’s Health Promotions Department for more information or to schedule appointments by calling 081-811-6311, 6313, or 6346.

September also is prostate cancer awareness month, and hospital officials are urging men 40 years or older to get tested.

“Prevention is the key to good health and a long life,” Molé wrote in his column. “Early detection is a vital component to a successful outcome and, as a result, we want to pass that motivation on to you.”

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