Free mammograms for breast cancer awareness
The Women’s Wellness Connection and the American Cancer Society urge women ages 40 to 64 years to talk with their doctors during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October about screening for breast cancer. Women who can’t afford mammograms may be eligible for free screening from a local health-care provider.
“Screening saves lives,” said Emily Kinsella, manager of the Women’s Wellness Connection at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Please take the time during October to reflect on the consequences of breast cancer in your life, get involved in local breast cancer awareness events, and talk to the women you love about getting a mammogram.”
Breast cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death in Colorado, killing more than 500 women annually. But when breast cancer is detected early, 98 percent of those diagnosed can survive. Likewise, when cervical cancer is diagnosed early, 96 percent of women survive.
The Women’s Wellness Connection offers free breast and cervical cancer screening to low-income women aged 40 to 64 years through 47 community providers statewide. WWC providers in Southwest Colorado include Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains in both Durango and Cortez, San Juan Basin Health Department in Durango and Pagosa Springs, the Dove Creek Community Clinic in Dove Creek, and the Uncompahgre Medical Center in Norwood.
Nearly one in four low-income, uninsured Colorado women has been screened for breast and cervical cancer through the Women’s Wellness Connection. According to the health department’s Central Cancer Registry, 75 percent of the 3,700 breast cancers diagnosed each year in Colorado are detected early, with lower early detection rates for Latino, Black and uninsured women.
If cancer is detected while enrolled in the program, treatment resources are made available.
The Women’s Wellness Connection has served Colorado’s growing number of low-income, uninsured women for more than 20 years, with nearly half, 49 percent, of its $7.3 million budget coming from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. WWC partners with the American Cancer Society to increase community awareness and education about the need for timely cancer screenings.
For more information about where to find a provider, go to womenswellnessconnection.org or call 356-5059. For more information about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, go to http://nbcam.org/.