The breast and cervical health program in Louisiana saved my life. The screening they provided to me found breast cancer in 2008. This simple screening test for women age 40 and older can catch the disease early and increase a woman’s chances of survival, as it did for me.

Unfortunately, many women do not have access to mammography. In fact, only 26 percent of uninsured women over the age of 40 have had a screening in the past year.

We can help change those statistics by asking Congress to properly fund a breast and cervical screening program run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over the past 20 years, this program has provided 10 million screenings to more than 4 million women. Right now, Congress is working not only on a budget for 2012, but also on setting priorities for the next decade, and this cancer screening program could be on the chopping block.

Our lawmakers must continue to fund prevention programs. Let’s ask Congress to make cancer funding a national priority.

Sandra Berry

art gallery owner

New Orleans