Governor declares October breast cancer awareness month

SALT LAKE CITY – October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Governor Gary Herbert held a special ceremony at the state capitol, to honor those who lost their lives to breast cancer.

Herbert applauded women’s healthy lifestyles when it comes to exercising, and limiting tobacco and alcohol use. Still when it comes to breast cancer screening rates, Utah is the second worst in the nation. As a result Herbert issued a challenge to accomplish by the year 2020.

“Let's increase our participation rates from 65 percent, which is still way too low to 76 percent, which still is not enough but it's the step in the right direction,” Herbert said.

Health leaders say breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in the U.S.  One out of every eight women in the United States will get breast cancer. The governor also highlighted the need for men to get screened.

Alan Blood passed away almost a year ago from breast cancer. His wife Michelle, and their four children were at Tuesday’s ceremony.

“We wish we could have caught it early and if we could have, he'd probably still be here today,” said Michelle Blood, Alan’s wife.

The Governor declared October 15-21 as Alan Blood Remembrance Week and Male Breast Cancer awareness week.

“To know that other people are remembering my husband and what he tried to do to get the word out, that was very special to me; to hear that a year later other people still remember him just like we do,” said Blood.

There are resources for women to get a free mammograms in Utah. For more information, visit cancerutah.org