Message from Governor Janet Napolitano
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual effort to raise awareness about breast cancer, seek funding for research and, most importantly, advocate methods of detection and prevention of the disease. I urge Arizona women of all ages to take time this month to become educated about the dangers of breast cancer and the benefits of early detection.
It is estimated that in the United States, 40,460 women and 450 men will die of breast cancer in 2007. To help combat these numbers, Breast Cancer Awareness Month promotes the importance of early detection through annual mammograms for women age 40 and older, or at an earlier age for women at an increased risk. These screenings are a woman's best chance of detecting breast cancer early enough for successful treatment. Mammography screenings can significantly increase the chance of cancer survival when used in conjunction with new treatment options and monthly self-exams.
On Sunday, October 14, thousands of women, men and children will gather in downtown Phoenix to participate in the 15th Annual Komen Race for the Cure run and walk. Last year, 39,000 people participated in the Phoenix event and raised more then $1.9 million. In 2007, the Phoenix affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure granted more than $1.65 million in funding to 30 groups to provide breast cancer education, screening and treatment services to medically underserved communities in central and northern Arizona.
The Komen Foundation reminds us that while breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women, there are many steps women can take to protect themselves from this disease, and we cannot stop the fight until we find a cure.
At the Capitol, we have made progress in securing increased funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings. In 2005, I signed a bill that allows Arizonans the opportunity to purchase special license plates to benefit this cause. For each $25 "pink ribbon" plate that is sold, $17 goes to a special fund for breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic awareness, and outreach services in Arizona.
For more information about the Komen Foundation, the 2007 Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure, or races in your area, and to learn more about breast cancer risk factors, please visit the foundation's Web site at www.komen.org or call their hotline, 1-800-IM-AWARE (800-462-9273).
As always, I appreciate your input, and encourage you to call my office at (602) 542-1318 if you have questions or thoughts to share. Or, visit our Web site at http://www.azgovernor.gov for information and news in state government.
Yours very truly,