Every month is Breast Cancer Awareness month

Each year approximately 180,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States and 40,000 women die as a result of their illness. In Illinois, nearly 10,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed annually. Virtually everyone has been touched in some way by breast cancer – whether it’s a mother, sister or friend. Thousands continue to live their lives as a survivor, but with the ever-present need to constantly monitor their health.

This October marks the 25th annual Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Planned Parenthood of Illinois is proud of its role in raising awareness, providing education and necessary screenings for breast cancer. As this October closes, however, we hope the importance of seeking preventive screenings and conducting examinations is kept in mind all year round.

The key to fighting breast cancer is early detection. Breast exams and mammograms have helped more than 9 out of 10 women detect breast cancer early, and many live much longer lives as a result. Planned Parenthood of Illinois conducts more than 21,000 breast exams every year and refers 2,100 women every year for further examination and treatment.

Since its inception more than 60 years ago, Planned Parenthood of Illinois has focused on a comprehensive approach to women’s health. Our primary focus is on preventive services for women. Whether it is through annual exams or the other preventative services we offer, we are committed to expanding our role as the leader in women’s health care and we are honored to serve on Governor Quinn’s Breast Cancer Quality Screening and Treatment Board.

There are many low-cost breast cancer screening and preventive health services for women available. Regardless of the health care provider you select, we urge all women to obtain a screening and continue to remain aware – all year round.

Carole Brite is president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

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