Lt. Governor Stephen B.Pence's Communication Office
Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence unveils statewide canacer awareness campaign
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence today unveiled a statewide public awareness campaign called “Ending Cervical Cancer In Our Lifetime.” The campaign is part of a ten-state education project organized by the National Lieutenant Governors Association.
“Our goal is to encourage women of all ages to be proactive about their health. Cervical cancer is a disease that often times can be preventable,” said Lt. Governor Pence. “If we can educate Kentucky women about cervical cancer and the factors that can cause it through this public awareness campaign, I will consider it a great success.”
Cabinet for Health and Family Services Undersecretary William Hacker, M.D., Education Cabinet Secretary Virginia Fox, Senator Julie Denton (R-Louisville), and Representative Kathy Stein (D-Lexington) took part in today’s press conference as well. Sen. Denton encouraged all women to take control of their health and applauded Lt. Governor Pence for his efforts to bring more attention to cervical cancer.
"Too many women's lives are cut short or dramatically altered by cervical cancer. We have all been touched by someone with cervical cancer or been a victim ourselves,” said Sen. Denton. “That is why I am so pleased the Lieutenant Governors Association, and Steve Pence, our Lieutenant Governor., are focusing their attention on this silent but deadly killer."
Researcher Alfred Bennett “Ben” Jenson, M.D., who works at the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, and has successfully developed a cervical cancer vaccine, was a guest speaker at today’s press conference.
“My research team and I have spent our careers in the laboratory looking for ways to prevent and cure cervical cancer,” said Dr. Jenson. “We feel very strongly that all women need to be aware that it is a preventable disease and that they can take steps to protect themselves from this disease. If we work together, it is truly possible that we can wipe out cervical cancer in our lifetimes. We hope that the current enthusiasm for the vaccine will become permanent as all women plan for their future health.”
Sue Ellen Stuebing, Kentucky State Vice President for the American Cancer Society, said the organization is committed to educating the public about the life-saving potential of discoveries like the vaccine in order to reduce Kentucky’s cancer burden.
“The relative survival rate for cervical cancer detected at an early stage is nearly 100 percent,” said Stuebing. “However, in order to achieve that survival rate, women need to have annual Pap tests. Our mission as a health organization is to educate the public about the need to detect cancer early and to advocate for programs that deliver these services to the underserved.”
For this reason, Stuebing said the American Cancer Society will send 44 volunteer community ambassadors from across Kentucky to Washington, D.C. in September to advocate for additional funding for the federal Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which in turn the Commonwealth matches funding for to provide the Kentucky Women’s Screening Project.
Attendees at today’s event, including Lt. Governor Pence, signed a “Wall of Hope” banner that will be delivered to Kentucky’s Congressional delegation in support of funding for the early detection program. Banners from across the nation are anticipated to create the largest temporary monument in the nation’s Capitol.
Throughout the next few months, Lt. Governor Pence will be visiting several college campuses across Kentucky, distributing educational brochures and bead kits that can be assembled into “Make the Connection” awareness bracelets.
The project is funded through National Lieutenant Governors Association by an independent public policy grant from Merck & Co., Inc.