In an effort to increase breast cancer awareness and encourage women to get screened, Gov. Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear today announced October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Kentucky.
"Every year, more than 2,800 Kentucky women are diagnosed with breast cancer; thousands of others are affected by knowing someone who has suffered with this disease; and everyone should be aware of how to prevent and detect this life-threatening illness," said Gov. Beshear. "We know that early detection through regular screenings is the key to successful treatment, and we ask you to take part in Breast Cancer Awareness Month by encouraging someone you know to get screened."
"Throughout the past several decades, doctors and researchers have made outstanding advancements in the detection and treatment of breast cancer," said Mrs. Beshear. "However, hundreds of thousands of women and men across the nation continue to be diagnosed with the disease, and it still takes the lives of far too many people. In fact, it remains the second leading cause of death among Kentucky women. Please join us this October in spreading the word about breast cancer and getting screened--your support can help save lives."
Since 1999, the rate of diagnosis of new cases of breast cancer in Kentucky has decreased due to early detection and innovative treatments. As a result, deaths from breast cancer are steadily declining. However, breast cancer remains a leading public health concern in the Commonwealth.
Mrs. Beshear continues promoting breast cancer awareness and prevention through the Horses and Hope initiative. In 2008, the First Lady's office partnered with the Kentucky Cancer Program to create Horses and Hope -- a program that offers education, screening and treatment referrals to those in the state's equine industry.
Horses and Hope has hosted breast cancer race days at Kentucky racetracks for the past six years and has educated more than 500,000 race track and horse show fans and approximately 6,000 equine employees. The program has screened more than 400 workers and detected breast cancer in two individuals, both of whom have received treatment.