Join me in supporting the American Cancer Society - by making a donation, and sporting teal this month - as I am a PROUD 6 year Cervical Cancer Survivor! While my journey against cervical cancer was short lived it is so important to me to spread awareness and help women not have to face hearing the words, "You have cancer". Many of you do not know yet that I am also a proud board member of the American Cancer Society St. Louis Leadership Board. I am choosing to support ACS this year, as their mission is near and dear to my heart!
Cervical cancer and breast cancer continue to be a threat to women’s health worldwide. More than 265,000 women die from cervical cancer every year across the globe, according to the American Cancer Society. And that number could increase by 66 percent by 2030. That’s just ten years.
In Missouri, the American Cancer Society estimates 270 new cases and 90 cervical cancer deaths in 2020. For breast cancer, those numbers are more than 5,3000 new cases and 860 deaths.
Screenings and treatment can cost a lot. The ACS advocates for screenings, as well as getting the HPV vaccine, which prevents not only cervical cancer, but 5 other types of cancer. Additionally, here is what the American Cancer is doing in Missouri on the advocacy side.
Missouri has a program that helps uninsured and low-income women pay for the cost of screenings and follow-ups. It’s the Show Me Healthy Women Program. Tim Freeman with ACS CAN, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, says a goal of the organization is to spread the word about it and ensure it continues to be funded.ACS CAN advocates every year for $500,000 through the state’s Appropriation Process to make sure the funding remains in place every year to fund Show Me Healthy Women.
Right now it’s part of the budget and Freeman is confident it will continue to be. “We feel pretty good that will be the case this year, but it doesn’t hurt to continue telling the story,” he said. In addition to this state fund, there’s a federal match from the federal breast and cervical cancer program. Women can ask their physician about Show Me Healthy Women. You can also check this clickable map to find Show me Healthy Women providers in your county.
“Trends here in the US are that people are going to survive cervical cancer or not get it at all. And if we can do that here in the United States and if we can save lives across the world… I think, our organization, that’s something we want to do,” Freeman said.“Anything we can do virtually eliminating a specific cancer is a pretty big accomplishment and I think for us to be the leaders in the United State and for our elected officials to take the lead on doing that on a world stage I think is pretty impressive and something folks want to get behind,” he said.