October Is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
A Guest Column by Senator Scott Oelslager
October 08, 2015
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We have all been touched by cancer in unique ways – whether it has been through the diagnosis of a loved one, first-hand as a survivor, or supporting others in their battle. October is a time for us to reflect on the triumphs in our effort to beat cancer and to pay tribute to the loved ones we have lost as a result of this devastating disease. Regardless of how cancer has affected you, we are united in our effort to support research and raise awareness.

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we salute the breast cancer survivors, researchers, medical professionals, community support groups, friends, and family members who have made sacrifices to support their loved ones in the battle against breast cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in American women, after skin cancer. In 2014, 230,000 new cases of breast cancer were reported in women and 2,300 cases were reported in men.

Age is a strong risk factor for breast cancer. A woman’s risk of developing this disease increases as she gets older. The risk of breast cancer, however, is not the same for all women in any given age group. Research has shown that women with certain risk factors have an increased chance of developing breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about ways to lower your risk and about getting screened. You can visithttp://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/pdf/BreastCancerFactSheet.pdf for details.

Women’s health is an important issue for the state of Ohio and I am proud to share that our efforts to help low-income families is making a positive difference. Women ages 40 and over, who lack health insurance and are unable to pay for breast cancer screenings, may be eligible for breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment through the Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP). For more information on the BCCP and its requirements for eligibility, call 614-728-2177. You can also visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website athttps://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhprograms/hprr/bc_canc/bcanc1.

Awareness and education are key factors in the successful treatment of cancers and with today’s technology most breast and cervical cancers can be treated with early detection. I hope you will help spread the message.

Please feel free to contact me by calling (614) 466-0626, emailingOelslager@OhioSenate.gov, or by writing me at 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

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