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updated: 10/9/2013 10:26 AM

Breast cancer program is a lifesaver

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Dave Hass

DUPAGE COUNTY-October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the DuPage County Health Department reminds DuPage County women that early detection and regular testing are the best defenses against breast cancer.

The Health Department offers an important program to women who are underinsured or have no health insurance. The Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP), provided in part through grant funding received from the Illinois Department of Public Health, offers free screenings to detect breast cancer or cervical cancer among low-income women who are DuPage County residents. Eligible women who enroll in IBCCP may qualify for other disease prevention services.

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The Health Department's IBCCP saw nearly 1,500 women in fiscal year 2013, exceeding our caseload goal of 1,255 women. We provided 948 mammograms and 16 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Eleven of those women were age 50 and over and two were in the 35 to 39 age group. All women diagnosed with breast cancer were given assistance to find appropriate treatment.

Visit the Health Department's website for IBCCP information and enrollment forms: http://www.dupagehealth.org/womens-health.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. Women should be aware of these facts:

• Women age 65 and older are less likely to get mammograms than younger women, even though breast cancer risk increases with age.

• Hispanic women have fewer mammograms than Caucasian women and African American women.

• Women below poverty level are less likely than women at higher incomes to have had a mammogram within the past two years.

For more information, follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.dupagehealth.org.

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