Q: How has the health security of American women increased in the last 20 years?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Owing in large part to greater communication through social media and online forums, health groups and organizations throughout the U.S. continue to raise funds and create programming that draws attention to breast cancer education and research. The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program is one such valuable initiative.
Q: What is the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program?
Marla Ahlgrimm: This program offers cancer screenings to uninsured, underinsured and low-income American women with the assistance of health clinics and non-profit organizations.
Q: What do these cancer screenings include?
Marla Ahlgrimm: The screenings include HPV tests, treatment referrals, clinical breast exams, pelvic exams, mammograms and pap tests. If more examination is necessary, medical professionals can advise the women about seeking further treatment.
Q: As we come to the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, what do you feel is the overall message of this annual event?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Early detection tests save hundreds and even thousands of lives on an annual basis. The efforts by local, national and international organizations cannot be discounted. However, I believe that the number would increase if all women took advantage of the opportunities provided to them. By sharing this information about preventive care with our mothers, sisters and daughters, we are doing our loved ones a great service. We all have a responsibility to inform, empower and engage with the people around us in order to advance health programs and raise awareness of breast cancer and its devastating impact.