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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Affordable Care Act: Newest Tool in Fight Against Breast Cancer

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013   

RICHMOND, Va. - October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this year's event marks a major shift for women's ability to access the health care they need. Matt Schafer, state government relations director for the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network, pointed out that under the Affordable Care Act, women cannot be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions such as breast cancer.

"The health-care law also requires health plans to cover annual preventive mammograms for women starting at age 40," Schafer said. "It prohibits lifetime dollar limits on coverage, and it also restricts the amount of out-of-pocket costs. And for an organization like the American Cancer Society, that's focused on finding a cure for this disease, nothing can be better."

Education on prevention, earlier detection and better treatment options have all helped the five-year survival rate for breast cancer to climb to around 98 percent. According to Schafer, more improvements are expected as more women are able to access affordable health care and get regular check-ups and treatment if needed.

"We've learned a lot about cancer. We've learned a lot about preventing it. We've learned a lot about treating it, but the one challenge we've encountered is cost," he said. "And the peace of mind that women are going to have looking into the next year; they can spend more time focusing on getting healthy, and not worrying about their life savings."

Each year in Virginia, there are more than 6000 new cases diagnosed and around 1100 women in the state die from breast cancer.

More information is at bit.ly/16H0P7B.




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