Governor Herbert Declares October Breast Cancer Awareness Month
On Friday afternoon at the State Capitol, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a declaration making October Breast Cancer Awareness month in the state.
While the declaration is largely symbolic, it raises awareness about an important fact: Utah is one of the least likely states in the country for women to get mammograms. Currently, we rank 43rd.
Lynette Phillips is the Manager of the Utah Cancer Control Program.
"In Utah we have a unique situation. We used to be ranked next to last for mammography screenings. We're actually a little higher now, but that's not because we're doing any better. It's because other states have gotten worse. So, we still are in the bottom of the rankings for mammographies and we need to change that."
Despite the low numbers here, Phillips says getting screened is actually pretty easy -- women don't need a doctor's recommendation to get one and they're covered by insurance. And while Breast Cancer Awareness Month is typically a busy time at mammography centers, Phillips says: "Just get it done. It's great to raise awareness, but breast cancer doesn't go away at the end of October."
To try and improve these numbers, on October 15th the American Cancer Society is holding a breast cancer fundraiser walk in Salt Lake City at Liberty Park, starting at 10:00 a.m. All proceeds go to cancer research.