Proposed budget cuts have advocates concerned about the impact on many areas, and preventing cancer is one of them. “Early detection prevents death,” says State Rep. Al Riley (D-Olympia Fields), hoping to reverse a $10 million cut proposed for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program.
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“We’ve done such a great job with both screening of cervical and breast cancer over the years. The five-year survival rates for both types of cancer are really, really great, but they decrease by about 50 percent if those women are not seen in later stages.”
In the 1980s, Riley was a biostatistician for the Illinois Cancer Center. Riley says the program helps 26,000 women a year, a number that could be cut in half if the cuts go through.