[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1997, Book II)]
[October 25, 1997]
[Pages 1429-1430]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]



The President's Radio Address
October 25, 1997

    The President. Good morning. I want to talk to you today about the 
vital importance of mammography in our fight against breast cancer. The 
tragedy of breast cancer has touched the lives of nearly every American 
family, including my own. This year alone, 180,000 women will be newly 
diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 women will die from 
the devastating disease.
    Since I took office, fighting breast cancer has been one of my top 
priorities. We've nearly doubled funding for breast cancer research, 
prevention, and treatment. The recent discovery of two breast cancer 
genes by NIH scientists holds out great promise for new prevention 
strategies, and we continue to work to find a cure.
    Until that day, we know that early detection is the most potent 
weapon we possess in our battle against breast cancer, and we know that 
mammography is the best way to detect breast cancer so that it can be 
treated before it's too late.
    The First Lady and I have worked hard to make mammograms available 
to more women and to encourage more women to get mammograms. The 
historic balanced budget I signed into law last summer makes annual 
mammograms far more affordable for women on Medicare and extends this 
potentially life-saving benefit to all Medicare beneficiaries over the 
age of 40.
    Hillary has led our national campaign to educate women about the 
vital importance of mammography, and I'd like to ask her to say a few 
words about it.
    The First Lady. Mammography can mean the difference between life and 
death for millions of women. Yet I know from my conversations with women 
around the country, particularly older women, that far too many think 
they don't need mammograms because they are past their childbearing 
years. Others are afraid of mammograms. Still others don't know that 
their health insurance covers the test.

[[Page 1430]]

    The National Mammography Campaign was launched to dispel myths and 
fears about mammography and to increase public awareness about Medicare 
coverage of mammograms. In the last 3 years, through community outreach, 
public service announcements, and partnerships with an energized 
business community, we have made a lot of progress. Now we must work 
even harder to reach women who, because of income, language, or cultural 
barriers, are the least likely to get mammograms.
    The administration's Horizons project is doing exactly that, in six 
of our largest cities. This week we received the project's first report, 
and it is teaching us a great deal about how to reach older women who 
have not been getting mammograms. We are looking forward to taking what 
we have learned and bringing this knowledge to communities all over the 
country.
    The President. The success of our campaign depends upon our ability 
to reach as many women as possible. This week, the National Cancer 
Institute is launching a wide-reaching education program to provide 
health professionals and women and their families with simple, 
straightforward information about the newest research and 
recommendations for early detection. These publications will reach 
thousands of women with a simple message. Mammograms are available, 
effective, and safe, and they can save your life.
    When women do go for a mammogram, we must make sure they receive the 
highest quality care. High-quality mammograms can detect the vast 
majority of breast tumors and, when followed by prompt treatment, can 
reduce the risk of death by as much as 30 percent. Women need and 
deserve that security.
    That is why today I'm pleased to announce new FDA regulations that 
will ensure medical facilities, health providers, and detection 
equipment are all held to the highest possible standards so that every 
woman gets the quality care she needs when she needs it most. With these 
steps, we're giving women and their families a powerful tool to fight 
breast cancer and new hope that the fight can be won.
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 4:47 p.m. on October 24 in the Oval 
Office at the White House for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on October 25.