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Breast Cancer Awareness

Gov. Pat Quinn declared October 2012 as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Illinois to educate residents about breast cancer and to underscore the importance of early detection through monthly breast self-exams and annual mammograms. The Illinois State Cancer Registry projects that 9,400 women in Illinois will be diagnosed with breast cancer and an estimated 1,890 will lose their lives to breast cancer in 2012.

“Prevention and early detection of breast cancer gives us the best chance to fight this disease that has devastated the lives of so many women and their families,” Quinn said. “Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a perfect time to encourage the women in our lives to pay attention to their health and receive life-saving screenings.”

Symptoms may include:

• New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).

• Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.

• Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.

• Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.

• Pain in any area of the breast.

Ways to lower the risk of breast cancer include:

• Exercise regularly and control your weight.

• Know your family history of breast cancer.

• Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

The Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP) provides free breast exams, mammograms, pelvic exams and Pap tests to uninsured women. IBCCP has provided nearly 38,000 women with free breast screenings in the past fiscal year alone.

Additionally, the Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure scratch-off lottery ticket has raised more than $8.5 million for breast cancer research and education in Illinois since 2006.

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