According to a recently published Maine.gov press release, Maine Governor John E. Baldacci, along with Maine’s First Lady Karen Baldacci and other supporters, helped celebrate and officially kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month throughout the month of October in the state.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been celebrated in Maine since 1985, making this year the 22nd anniversary. This year the event was hosted at the Blaine House.
Governor Baldacci said at the event, “During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and all year long, health care professionals, educators and others continue to educate all women about guidelines for prevention and early detection of the disease.”
Breast cancer is an extremely overwhelming disease, especially in the United States where every three minutes a woman learns that she has breast cancer. Even more shocking, the disease will either indirectly or directly affect 1 in 8 women in the U.S. during their lifetimes.
However, many medical agencies and organizations are working hard to fight this disease. Breakthrough research and even early detection have caused mortality rates due to the disease to drop.
In Maine alone, between 1990 and 2003, breast cancer mortality rates in Maine have declined by 17.3, making a breast cancer diagnosis nothing close to a death sentence. Still, scientists estimate that in 2007 alone, 980 Maine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 190 of those women will die from the disease. Also, only about 80 percent of women over the age of 40 in Maine are receiving annual mammograms, which may provide early detection for the deadly disease.
Governor Baldacci added, “Maine’s on the right track, and a lot of credit goes to the partners present here today and the many other partners helping across all our Maine communities. The promotion of policies that increase access, quality and affordability of health care makes a difference in detecting and treating cancer.”
Governor Baldacci is continuing to encourage support for breast cancer patients, especially when it comes to breakthrough research. Some of the country’s best breast cancer research is being done in Maine, namely at the Jackson Laboratory.
The state of Maine is continuing to push breast cancer efforts. On a statewide ballot, there was a call for issuing an additional $50 million in “research, development, and commercialization bonds for targeted technology sectors.
The large funds would be given out by the Maine Technology Institute and would go directly to biomedical research projects that would create and help advance technology.
Maine.gov. “Governor Recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=Portal+News&id=42872&v=article-2006