Clinical breast exams are the first line of defense for providers in detecting breast cancer in most young women. Last year, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses across Illinois provided 17,000 breast exams. Like most ob/gyns and primary care physicians, if a Planned Parenthood health care provider finds an abnormality during an exam, the patient is referred to a breast specialist for further examination, which may include diagnostic tests, like an ultrasound or biopsy. Planned Parenthood of Illinois’ newly established breast diagnostic grant program helps to cover the costs of these tests for patients when possible, as the tests can be costly, especially for uninsured and low-income women.
In August, Planned Parenthood announced an expansion of its breast health education, outreach, and services across the country. The expansion was made possible by an outpouring of donations from the public after Susan G. Komen for the Cure stopped providing grants to Planned Parenthood because of intense pressure from political groups and then quickly reversed course earlier this year. One in five women in America has turned to Planned Parenthood at some point in her life for health care. To schedule an appointment, go to www.ppil.org or call 800-230-PLAN.