Story by WBGZ Radio
WBGZ Radio 3/26/2015
By Dave Dahl – Illinois Radio Network
Proposed budget cuts have advocates concerned about the impact on many areas, and preventing cancer is one of them. “Early detection prevents death,” says State Rep. Al Riley (D-Olympia Fields), hoping to reverse a $10 million cut proposed for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program.
“We’ve done such a great job with both screening of cervical and breast cancer over the years. The five-year survival rates for both types of cancer are really, really great, but they decrease by about 50 percent if those women are not seen in later stages.”
In the 1980s, Riley was a biostatistician for the Illinois Cancer Center. Riley says the program helps 26,000 women a year, a number that could be cut in half if the cuts go through.
OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill – State Rep. Al Riley is concerned about the proposed cuts to the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP).
The Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP) program has been providing breast and cervical cancer screenings to the women of Illinois since 1995. This year, the Governor has proposed cutting the program by nearly $10 million. Nearly 26,000 women receive testing for cancer through this program last year. That number will drop to 13,000 with the proposed budget cuts. There is currently a four month waiting list to get tested.
In the mid 1980’s, Riley served as the Director of Biostatistics and Computer Services for the former Illinois Cancer Council. The ICC was the National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center for the State of Illinois. The ICC conducted clinical trials of investigational treatments along with cancer control and epidemiologic studies. Riley’s background and concern has made him a staunch advocate for breast cancer research through the years.
Riley states, “Early detection is the key to survival. Too many women have lost their fight with cancer due to late detection. We have to be sure that all people have equal access to early breast and cervical cancer screening, especially those women who are low-income wage earners.”
According to the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force, survival from breast cancer has improved tremendously over the past 20 years, but not for African American and low-income women.
For more information, please contact Riley by email at email@example.com or by phone at (708) 799-4364.