Guest Post by Lesley French
The word hope is often used to convey strength and courage in the face of adversity. We hope for good things. We hope for a better tomorrow. Today, there is hope for women to defeat breast cancer.
Every October we come together with our partners to speak with one voice about the importance of breast cancer awareness. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Texas women. This year, an estimated 15,287 women in the state will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Thanks to Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature making women’s health a top priority during the 84th Legislative Session, more women can be screened and receive early treatment.
When breast cancer is detected early, the five-year survival rate is almost 97 percent.
Texas leaders designated over $260 million to women’s health care services for Texas women. Included among these services are clinical breast exams, as well as diagnostic services for women with abnormal cancer screening test results.
Last year alone, more than 33,900 underserved women in Texas received cancer screening and diagnostic services through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Services Program at the Health and Human Services Commission. Because of our combined efforts, and new and better resources, there are now 101,729 Texas women who are breast cancer survivors.
I am proud that Texas Health and Human Services works in partnership with many other state and community agencies that provide these same resources to Texas women.
We share the same goal: to eliminate breast cancer for Texas women and their families.
We share the same message: prevention and early detection are the best protection.
And today, we share the same hope: a future with no breast cancer. We can realize this hope by encouraging women to make their health a priority and receive regular screenings. Texas has developed an easy to use resource for women to find out what programs and services they may qualify for. We are encouraging every women to visit www.healthytexaswomen.org to find a doctor near them.
There is hope.
Lesley French is the Associate Commissioner of Health, Developmental, and Independence Services Department within the Medical and Social Services Division at the Health and Human Services Commission