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MARYVILLE – National Mammography Day is recognized during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and State Senators Christopher Belt and Kris Tharp are reminding women to schedule this potentially life-saving exam.

“Early detection for breast cancer is vital to patient care,” said Senator Belt (D-Swansea). “National Mammography Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month serve as a reminder for women to schedule their yearly exams, and this simple test saves lives.”

Breast cancer affects more than 250,000 women and 2,400 men in the United States every year. But unfortunately, the National Cancer Institute reported an estimated 9.4 million screenings that normally would have taken place in 2020 did not occur due to the pandemic.

“Mammograms are one of the best tools doctors have to screen for breast cancer,” said Senator Tharp (D-Bethalto). “I urge women to make an effort to ensure they are up-to-date on their breast screenings and to make mammogram appointments as needed.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health Breast and Cervical Cancer Program offers free breast exams and mammograms to uninsured and underinsured women. The program also supports diagnostic services and assists with referrals for treatment options.

To enroll in IBCCP, women can call the Women’s Health Line 888-522-1282 (800-547-0466 TTY). The Women’s Health Line will be able to walk women through the eligibility requirements and the screening process.