CHICAGO – As Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins this October, state Rep. Yehiel “Mark” Kalish, D-Chicago, is highlighting the Illinois Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP), which provides free screenings to Illinois women who lack access to health care coverage.
“One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, we need to make sure that eight in eight women have access to health screenings that can save their lives,” Kalish said. “These procedures have literally saved the lives of thousands of Illinois women. No woman should have to put her life on the line because she is struggling to afford treatment.”
Kalish is encouraging women in need to participate in the Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP). The program is operated by Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and provides eligible women free breast exams and mammograms, as well as Pap tests and pelvic exams. Women are eligible for these services if they are an uninsured Illinois resident between the ages of 35 and 64. Additionally, if someone who is enrolled in the IBCCP is diagnosed with cancer through the program’s screenings and tests, they would be eligible to receive treatment benefits. For more information, please visit www.dph.illinois.gov or call the Illinois Women’s Health-Line at 1-888-522-1282.
This spring, Kalish backed a bipartisan, balanced budget that provided $14.5 million for these potentially lifesaving services for Illinois women, as well as legislation to mandate that insure companies cover diagnostic mammograms as part of preventative care.
“Early detection is critical in combating breast cancer, that’s what makes these screenings so vital,” Kalish said. “While we have made progress, we need to continue to fight for reforms that improve health care access and affordability for every family in Illinois.”