Modified: October 3, 2016 5:12pm
From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein
Date October 4, 2016
CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov
Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925
OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Cancer Services Program Screens the Uninsured
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Each year in New York, nearly 15,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 2,700 women die from the disease. These women are our wives, mothers, sisters, and friends.
The mission of the Erie County Cancer Services Program (“CSP”) is to ensure that all eligible women with little or no health insurance have access to breast cancer screening. As part of the Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”), CSP provides free breast screening with mammography, diagnostics and access to treatment coverage, if needed, through a network of over 100 health providers across Erie County, including many private practice locations. Services are available to the uninsured as well as the underinsured who may have a high deductible plan with unaffordable out of pocket costs.
Michelle Wysocki, Program Director of the Erie County CSP, urges all women to talk to their health care provider about breast cancer screening and their personal risk for the disease. “A woman’s best chance for survival is finding breast cancer early through regularly scheduled mammograms,” says Wysocki. “Our program has literally helped thousands of women access breast cancer screening since its inception in 1992.” Anyone with questions about eligibility or other questions about Erie County’s Cancer Services Program can call 716-858-7376 or visit their website at www.cspwny.org .
Breast cancer is most commonly found in women 50 years old or older. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends a mammogram every two years for women between 50 and 74 years of age. Women ages 40–49 years old are encouraged to talk to their health care providers about when and how often they should have screening mammograms. Any woman who is at high risk for breast cancer, as determined by a, health care provider may need to begin screening earlier. Any woman, or man, who has symptoms or changes in their breasts should schedule an appointment with their health care provider immediately. While very rare, it is possible for men to get breast cancer.
“Each woman needs to be aware of her personal risk for breast cancer and make an informed decision with her doctor about when and how often she should be screened," said Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health. “A mammogram is a quick, safe, and relatively painless screening exam. It can detect lumps and other forms of breast disease that may be too small or deep to be felt by even an experienced health professional.”
Although some women have certain risk factors that may increase their chance of getting breast cancer--most do not. This is why recommended screening is so vitally important for all women.
"Great advances have been made in early detection and treatment of breast cancer, and many women diagnosed with the disease are living long, healthy lives," concluded Burstein.
Contact the Erie County Cancer Services Program at 716-858-7376, or visit their website at www.cspwny.org for additional information.
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