“As our state continues to address the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a large decline in elective procedures and routine medical care including cancer screenings,” said Manley. “As Cervical Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close this year, I am encouraging residents to learn about cervical cancer and ways they can maintain their health.”
According to the CDC, cervical cancer used to be the leading cause of cancer death of women in the United States. In recent decades, the number of cervical cancer deaths had dropped significantly due in part to increased screenings.
Since 1995, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has offered free breast and cervical cancer screenings and treatment options for individuals without health insurance. Manley has been a continued advocate for funding the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP), which offers free mammograms, breast exams, pelvic exams and Pap tests to Illinois women between the ages of 30 and 64 without health insurance. Those already diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer can still qualify for treatment even if they are not currently enrolled with IBCCP.
“If detected early, cervical cancer can be treated. Cancer screenings can literally save lives, as cervical cancer does not typically show symptoms until it has spread,” continued Manley. “I encourage women to continue getting their regular screenings and taking steps to maintain their overall health and wellness.”