AURORA, Ill. – During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, is highlighting her legislative efforts to expand access to lifesaving cancer screenings and promoting free screenings through the Illinois Department of Public Health.
“Breast cancer continues to be a leading cause of death among women,” said Hernandez. “Early detection and regular breast exams are critical and can provide you with an increased chance of recovery and a wider range of treatment options.”
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that women ages 40 to 44 should consult their physician about their personal risk factors for breast cancer and when to start annual breast cancer screenings. For women ages 45 to 54, the ACS recommends receiving an annual mammogram and that women older than 55 switch to receiving mammograms every other year, unless a doctor recommends more frequent screening.
As part of her continued efforts to expand access to affordable health care, this past session Hernandez helped pass a balanced budget that included millions of dollars for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP), which provides breast and cervical cancer screenings for uninsured Illinois residents aged 35-64. For more information on the IBCCP, individuals can visit www.dph.illinois.gov or call the Illinois Women’s Health-Line at 1-888-522-1282.
“We are making sure that all women in Illinois have access to lifesaving cancer screenings, regardless of their financial status,” said Hernandez. “During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I urge all women to consult with a doctor to understand their personal risk factors for breast cancer and to seek a mammogram if recommended.”