Record sales of the Indiana breast cancer license plate helped detect more cancers last year, giving a better chance at recovery for dozens of Hoosier women and peace of mind to thousands more. More than 19,000 plates were sold in 2012, an eight percent jump from the year before.

The $25 tax-deductible donation for each plate is pooled by the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust (IBCAT) and awarded as grants to help provide free mammography programs for underserved and underinsured men and women throughout Indiana.

“Because Hoosiers bought more breast cancer plates last year, IBCAT can fund more programs and services that help save Hoosier lives,” said Sheila Hauck, IBCAT president and executive director of oncology services at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville, Ind.

IBCAT recently awarded nearly $400,000 in grants to 49 organizations statewide, up $58,000 from the previous year. Grants awarded last year helped fund more than 2,500 mammograms and 100 diagnostic services at hospitals, clinics and providers in nearly every county in Indiana. These programs detected 53 cancers, an increase of 32 percent from the year before.

“The breast cancer plate is doing its job,” said Beth Knapp, IBCAT executive director. “It’s raising awareness about breast cancer and detecting cancer for women who could otherwise not afford these important screening services.”

Consistently a top 10 selling specialty plate at the BMV, IBCAT has awarded more than $2 million in grants from plate sales since its inception in 2002. Billboards will soon pop up along many Indiana roads reminding Hoosier drivers to purchase the plate.

Women in need of mammography services can inquire at (866) 724-2228. Indiana residents may purchase the plate for cars, trucks, motorcycles and recreational vehicles at the Bureau of Motor Vehicle.