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October 26, 1999

Governor Announces $3 Million In Cancer Prevention Health Grants

SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan and Lieutenant Governor Corinne Wood today announced the award of $3.08 million in grants to local health departments and health care providers that will help expand programs offering free or reduced costs for mammograms and other health care services.

"We know that routine breast cancer and cervical cancer screening and treatment can substantially improve a woman's chances of surviving these life-threatening diseases," Ryan said. "Through this program, we expect to serve 11,000 women a year, who otherwise might not be able to afford this preventative health care."

The Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program, which started in 1995 in the three counties of DuPage, Lake and Peoria, previously served 60 counties. Through the efforts of Governor Ryan and Lt. Governor Wood during the spring legislative session, an additional $1 million in general revenue funds was added to the Illinois Department of Public Health's FY 2000 budget to expand the program statewide. The other $2 million in funds comes to the state from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Public education and outreach efforts have played a significant role in the past success of this program," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, Director of Public Health. "Our community partners have successfully reached medically under-served women with information about the importance of early detection and provided them with appropriate follow-up services."

The screening program targets women who are 40 years old and older of low-income status and either uninsured or underinsured. To be eligible, individuals must show proof of income of less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or $16,480 for a single-person household.

In Illinois, an average of 8,000 women annually are diagnosed and 2,200 die from breast cancer. An average of 700 women in the state are diagnosed and 200 die from cervical cancer.

"These new resources will provide the opportunity for more women to take a very simple precaution, yet potentially-life saving step against breast and cervical cancer," said Lt. Governor Wood, a breast cancer survivor. "In recognition of October as national and state Breast Cancer Awareness month, we want to highlight the positive outcomes when people take the time to care and learn about prevention."

Recommendations for early detection of breast and cervical cancer are:

Breast cancer- monthly breast examinations for all women; yearly clinical breast exams for all women; and a mammogram yearly for women 40 and older

Cervical cancer - annual Pap smear and pelvic examination in sexually active women or women 18 years of age or older.


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