Stand Against Cancer: Early Detection is Key with the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program

May 18, 2022

As the world opens up again and we get back to doing the things we love, it’s important to return to the doctor for regular check-ups and preventative screenings, like annual mammograms.


Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women and that only tells half the story. Although white women are diagnosed with breast cancer at a higher rate than women of color, more African-American and Hispanic women die from breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, Black women are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than White women. A contributing factor to this disparity is that African-American and Hispanic women are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage, when breast cancer has possibly spread and is harder to treat.


According to the American Cancer Society, Black women are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than White women.


What can you do?


Know your risk.

  • Know your family’s history and talk to your provider about when to start having mammograms.
  • Women aged 50 to 54 years should get a mammogram every year. Depending on family history, women aged 40+ years should talk to their doctor about available breast cancer screening options.


Get your mammogram.

Regular mammograms are crucial for detecting breast cancer at an early stage when it is easier to treat.


At ACCESS, we believe all women regardless of insurance coverage should be proactive and engaged in their health care, which is why we are proud to provide education and referrals for mammograms through the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP). This program offers uninsured Illinois women with free to low-cost breast and cervical cancer screenings and is available at all ACCESS locations.  If the results show a breast or cervical cancer diagnosis, ACCESS’ care team can help eligible patients enroll for benefits through the Illinois Treatment Act, administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health.


If you are interested in this program, please call ACCESS’ Women’s Health Outreach Coordinator Maria Ruiz-Torres at 773.526.4065


Support your sisters and promote early detection.

Become an advocate and join ACCESS’ Pin-A-Sister®/Examínate Comadre® program to urge the women in your life to schedule their annual mammograms. Share breast health resources with your community by following our Pin-A-Sister®/Examínate Comadre® Facebook page and check out our Pin-A-Sister®/Examínate Comadre® Social Media Toolkit for messaging and fun graphics that raises awareness of early detection on social media.