Illinois action blog

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Breast Health Awareness Should Continue Year Round

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming to an end. We would like to encourage women of all ages to take care of their breast health all year round by doing regular self check exams and getting regular clinical exams.

Last year, our doctors and nurses provided 17,000 breast exams. Our health care professionals help women understand the screening that’s best for them as well as the factors that can reduce their breast cancer risk - including getting regular exercise and limiting alcohol intake.

Women under 40 often don’t think they need to be concerned about their breast health. Although women under 40 make up a small portion of the total number of women diagnosed with breast cancer every year, when cancer does occur it is often aggressive. Waiting can literally change the course of a woman’s life.

There are usually no physical outward signs that a woman can see. That is why it is important for women to have clinical breast exams, which are the first line of defense for providers in detecting breast cancer in most young women. Like most ob/gyns and primary care physicians, if a Planned Parenthood health care provider finds an abnormality during an exam, the patient is referred to a breast specialist for further examination, which may include diagnostic tests, like an ultrasound or biopsy.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois’ newly established breast diagnostic grant program helps to cover the costs of these tests for patients when possible, as the tests can be costly, especially for uninsured and low-income women. We offer breast health services at 16 of our 17 locations across Illinois: Chicago (7 locations - Austin, Englewood, Roseland, Loop, Near North, Wicker Park, Rogers Park), Aurora, Ottawa, Bloomington, Champaign, Decatur, Effingham, Peoria, Pekin, and Springfield.

Early detection is key to beating breast cancer. No matter what time of year it is Planned Parenthood of Illinois is here to help with women's health.
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This post was created by Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA). PPIA is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL).

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