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updated: 10/31/2010 8:28 AM

Cancer prevention a year-round tas

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Each year approximately 180,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States and 40,000 women die as a result of their illness. In Illinois, nearly 10,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed annually. Virtually everyone has been touched in some way by breast cancer whether it's a mother, sister or friend. Thousands continue to live their lives as a survivor, but with the ever-present need to constantly monitor their health.

This October marked the 25th annual Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Planned Parenthood of Illinois is proud of its role in raising awareness, providing education and necessary screenings for breast cancer. As the month ends, however, we hope the importance of seeking preventive screenings and conducting examinations is kept in mind all year round.

The key to fighting breast cancer is early detection. Breast exams and mammograms have helped more than nine out of 10 women detect breast cancer early, and many live much longer lives as a result. Planned Parenthood of Illinois conducts over 21,000 breast exams every year and refers 2,100 women every year for further examination and treatment.

Since its inception over 60 years ago, Planned Parenthood of Illinois has focused on a comprehensive approach to women's health. Our primary focus is on preventive services for women. We are committed to expanding our role as the leader in women's health care and we are honored to serve on Gov. Pat Quinn's Breast Cancer Quality Screening and Treatment Board.

We urge all women to obtain a screening and continue to remain aware all year round.

Carole Brite

President and CEO

Planned Parenthood of Illinois