Women’s health is in focus as it’s Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

State Rep. Dagmara Avelar (D-Bolingbrook) is one of several women in the Illinois General Assembly promoting January as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. (WJBC File Photo)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – If you have a cervix, you need to get a PAP smear.

That’s what a number of women lawmakers said during a news conference promoting preventive health during this Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

“Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the cervix grow out of control. but changes in the cells – found early – can be successfully treated in nearly all cases,” said State Rep. Dagmara Avelar (D-Bolingbrook). “That’s why routine screening and early detection when it comes to cervical cancer.”

Another lawmaker, State Rep. Anna Moeller (D-Elgin), said preventive care and early detection are credited for “significant declines in cervical cancer mortality over the past forty years. “However, we know in 2012, nearly eight million women ages 21-65 reported they had not been screened in the past five years.”

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected].


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…