Chicago, IL - National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is recognized annually throughout October, reminding PCC Community Wellness Center of their commitment to women’s health and the importance of the “pink” services they provide. Some of the services PCC provides to uninsured and underserved women in Westside Chicago and the near west suburbs are breast cancer education, instruction on self- breast exams, and routine clinical breast exams. PCC is a proud partner of the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP).
On Thursday, October 27, 2011 PCC hosted their first PCC- wide Breast Cancer Awareness Day, requesting all staff members to wear pink in remembrance of those who have lost their fight against breast cancer and support to those who are currently battling breast cancer. Throughout the day, staff members educated patients in the clinic and waiting rooms on the steps they should be taking to screen for breast cancer.
“At PCC, we have patients that are diagnosed with breast cancer. This month, and especially today, it is inspiring to see PCC rally together to raise awareness and promote breast cancer screenings,” said Anna Herdeck, PCC Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program Coordinator.
As a partner of IBCCP, PCC helps coordinate the program’s free screenings and treatment for uninsured women in Illinois. The IBCCP program at PCC offers mammograms, breast exams, pelvic exams and Pap tests to women who are eligible. The IBCCP has also made it possible for PCC to work with other providers (such as breast surgeons and radiologists, largely at West Suburban Medical Center) to allow further diagnosis and treatment, if the mammogram or breast exam shows to be abnormal.
Breast Cancer is the second most common cancer in women, and the second most common cause of cancer death among women. These statistics are even worse for PCC's patient population. African-American women have a much higher death rate from breast cancer than any other race, and breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Latina women. “This is at least in part due to disproportionately low screening rates among minority and underserved women; which in turn likely reflects lack of access to screening methods, such as a clinical breast exam and mammogram,” said Dr. Luning, PCC Chief Medical Officer.