Gov. Jerry Brown ushered in Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Thursday by urging residents to order the state's new "Pink Ribbon" specialty license plates, which support medical screenings for under-served women as a result of legislation authored by Pleasanton's former assemblywoman.
"This year, for the first time, Californians may support the early detection of breast cancer through a specialty license plate," Brown said in a letter released through the "Pink Plate" website.
Money generated by citizens buying the "California Pink Ribbon License Plate" will be directed to the state's breast cancer control account, which funds California's "Every Woman Counts" program providing low-cost and no-cost mammograms for women in need.
The specialty-plate program was approved in September 2014 when the governor signed a bill sponsored by then-Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), who helped champion the cause of a group of breast cancer survivors dubbed the "Survivor Sisters."
The plates are available to order online, but they won't be manufactured until at least 7,500 are pre-ordered. Thus far, approximately 700 plates have been ordered, according to program officials.
The price begins at $50 for a pink plate with random letters and numbers, and it increases to $98 for personalized letters and numbers. A portion of the purchase is tax deductible, and plates can be ordered for a driver's own vehicle or as a gift.
Supporting early detection is key in the battle against breast cancer, the most common cancer among women, according to Brown.
"Early detection of breast cancer improves the chances of survival. In fact, when breast cancer is diagnosed early (at a localized stage), 99% of women survive for five years or more," Brown wrote in his letter marking the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. "Access to breast cancer screening has been shown to save lives through early detection."
"Every Woman Counts" is a statewide program administered by the California Department of Health Care Services, which in turn partners with county departments of public health and county health consortia to provide women with easier local access to breast cancer screenings.