"This month serves as a reminder to
women across Illinois that it is time to take charge of their own
health," Gov. Blagojevich said. "That may mean getting an annual
mammogram, doing a monthly self-exam or seeing a physician for a
10,000 Illinoisans, mostly women, will be diagnosed with breast
cancer this year. National studies have found that early detection
and prompt treatment can significantly reduce the suffering caused
by breast cancer.
"An estimated one in eight women
will develop breast cancer during their lifetime, and many will
die," said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker. "Breast cancer is second only to
lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women."
Studies also have shown that
uninsured women with low income are less likely to have regular
mammograms and, as a result, have an increased risk of dying from
breast cancer. Research shows that deaths from breast cancer for
women in their 40s can be reduced by 17 percent and by at least 30
percent for women ages 50 to 69, if women follow breast cancer
screening recommendations, including routine mammography, regular
examinations by a physician and monthly self-exams.
Since taking office, Gov.
Blagojevich has provided an additional $5 million in state and
federal dollars for community-based and faith-based outreach to help
increase the number of women who are screened for breast and
"We want to ensure that every woman,
no matter her income or neighborhood, has access to screenings,"
said Gov. Blagojevich.
As part of the monthlong observance,
the Illinois Department of Public Health will work with local health
departments, hospitals, clinics and community-based organizations to
promote the benefits of the department-run Illinois Breast and
Cervical Cancer Program.
The program provides breast and
cervical cancer screening to uninsured, low-income women between the
ages of 35 and 64.
In fiscal 2004, the Illinois Breast
and Cervical Cancer Program screened almost 19,000 women.
The department also administers the
Penny Severns Breast and Cervical Cancer Research Fund, which
taxpayers can support with contributions when filing their annual
state income tax returns. Since the fund first appeared on the 1993
state tax form, nearly $1.8 million has been donated to help fund 85
research projects in Illinois relating to early detection,
prevention and treatment of breast and cervical cancer.
The department also provides a
toll-free Women's Health Line, 1 (888) 522-1282 or TTY 1 (800)
547-0466, which can make available publications and resources
covering a range of women's health issues and concerns.
[to top of second column in this
The governor's proclamation reads as
Whereas, breast cancer is the second
most common type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer
death in women; and
Whereas, in 2004, approximately
216,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United
States, and 40,000 of them will likely die from the disease; and
Whereas, the direct cause of breast
cancer is unknown, however certain risk factors are linked to the
disease. For instance, a woman with a family history of breast
cancer is twice as likely to get the disease than someone with no
family history; and
Whereas, the earlier breast cancer is
detected, the chances for remission become greater. Mammograms are
recognized as the single most effective method of detection because
of their ability to identify cancerous cells long before symptoms
surface. Therefore, women who have mammograms annually have a
greater chance of discovering breast cancer in its early stages; and
Whereas, in order to provide more
screenings and education outreach services, my administration has
pledged to increase funding for breast and cervical cancer in
Illinois. In the 2005 budget, state funding for this research will
increase by $2 million dollars, allowing 3,000 more women to receive
the prevention and treatment services that they desperately need;
Whereas, National Breast Cancer
Awareness Month has been observed by American for twenty years. Over
the last two decades, a multitude of programs have been started in
conjunction with this month to provide education and public
awareness to all Americans; and
Whereas, since 1993, the United States
has recognized the third Friday in October as Mammography Day;
Therefore, I, Rod Blagojevich,
Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim October 2004
as BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH and October 15, 2004 as MAMMOGRAPHY
DAY in Illinois, and encourage all citizens to join me in the
continued fight against breast cancer.
from the governor's office]