According to the American Cancer Society, more than 230,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2013. Of that number, more than 39,000 women will lose their battle against this deadly disease. In addition, one in eight women will be affected by breast cancer in their lifetime.
The topic of breast cancer hits close to home for my family. My wife, Kathy, is a breast cancer survivor. Fortunately, we were able to catch it early enough so that we may have many more happy years together. I realize there are many women who are not so lucky, and I am dedicated to spreading the word that this is a survivable disease if caught early enough.
October has been designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pink ribbon of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation is proudly worn by young and old alike as a fashion accessory, as well as displayed in many retail outlets as a symbol of support for this cause. The ribbon also serves as a reminder to women that early detection via mammogram is the single most effective procedure for early detection of breast cancer.
Several national public service organizations, as well as government agencies and professional medical associations, are working together with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to share information, provide greater access to screening services, and generally increase public awareness to encourage all women to practice self-examination, have regular mammograms and medical health provider visits.
As always, feel free to contact my office if you have questions or concerns about this or any other facet of the Missouri Legislature. I am proud and humbled to be your voice in Jefferson City.