BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Over 130,000 women in Louisiana have received breast cancer screenings after Medicaid expansion, the governor says in a statement Monday.

Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Department of Health Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips released the following statements:

“Every October, we rededicate ourselves to raising awareness about the impact of breast cancer in our state and the life-saving importance of early detection,” Gov. Edwards said. “We stand with those who are fighting against this terrible disease and remember the loved ones who have tragically lost their lives. Thankfully, we also know when caught early the five-year survival rate is nearly 99 percent. Thanks to Medicaid expansion, more than 130,000 women in our state have received breast cancer screenings and diagnostic breast imaging. As a result, more than 1,800 have been diagnosed.”

“Louisiana has one of the highest mortality rates due to breast cancer, underscoring the need for all of us to stay focused on early detection,” said Dr. Phillips. “We are all busy, especially this time of year, and we know many women may have missed their routine health screenings during the pandemic. So, consider this your friendly reminder. Regular mammograms save lives. Make a plan today to get screened.”

The breast cancer mortality rate in Louisiana is 21.9 per 100,000 women, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).