Senator David Pearce’s Capitol Report for the Week of Sept. 26: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pearce Capitol Report 2016

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and that means we will soon be seeing vibrant shades of pink pop up around our neighborhoods, grocery stores and even on the uniforms of our favorite football teams. According to the American Cancer Society, about one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Thankfully, breast cancer discovery rates have been dropping in recent years, and there are nearly 3 million breast cancer survivors living in America right now. Many of these survivors have benefited greatly from awareness, informational and support campaigns like Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast cancer awareness efforts have been promoted since the mid-1980s. Over the past three decades, medical professionals across the globe have made great strides in the detection, prevention and treatment of the disease. Even the Missouri General Assembly has done its part to lessen the effects breast cancer, as well as other forms of cancer. Efforts to expand women’s access to quality health care, regulatory modifications to health organizations and treatment methods, and state funding for research and medical advancements have all been passed in previous sessions.

During the 2014 session, Missouri lawmakers and the governor came together to enact legislation that requires mammography providers to notify patients if they have been categorized as having dense breast tissue, which can hide abnormalities. This measure took effect on Jan. 1, 2015. In 2008, we passed Senate Bill 1105 to create a check-off box on income tax forms that allows individuals to contribute to the Breast Cancer Awareness Trust Fund. And as a result of House Bill 1093, passed in 2002, Missourians can purchase a special “Breast Cancer Awareness” license plates, with the proceeds going to fund screening, treatment and follow-up services for women across the state.

The more we can work together to raise awareness about the effects of cancer and how to best support those who have been diagnosed, the better. This October, I encourage you to find some way you can help make a difference in the fight against cancer.

For more information about breast cancer, please visit the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services website at or the American Cancer Society website at Here in Missouri, we also have the Show Me Healthy Women program, which offers free breast and cervical cancer screenings for Missouri women who meet age, income and insurance guidelines. For more information, call toll-free at (866) 726-9926.

As always, please feel free to contact me or my staff with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and trying to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at 866-277-0882 (toll-free) or (573) 751-2272, or by fax at (573) 526-7381.

Senator David Pearce serves Caldwell, Carroll, Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Ray and Saline counties in the 21st State Senatorial District.