Modified: September 28, 2018 2:30pm
From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein
Date: September 28, 2018
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—Nearly 15,000 New York State (NYS) women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and approximately 2,700 NYS women die from the disease. These women are our wives, mothers, sisters, and friends.
The Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”) Cancer Services Program (“CSP”), in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is raising awareness about the importance of mammograms for early breast cancer detection.
The mission of CSP is to ensure that ALL women have access to life-saving mammograms. CSP provides free breast screening with mammography, diagnostics, and access to treatment through a network of over 100 health care providers across Erie County, including many private practice locations. Services are available to uninsured individuals, as well as those underinsured who may have a high deductible plan with unaffordable out of pocket costs.
One out of eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. A mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer early, when it may be easier to treat. Regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer.
“The CSP ensures that all women are able to get critical breast cancer screening,” said Michelle Wysocki, Program Director of the Erie County CSP. “Our program’s services do not stop at screening. If the screening test identifies an abnormal finding, we provide for further testing and guide clients through their follow-up appointments. If treatment is needed, we help eligible clients apply for New York State’s Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program. We support our clients by helping them get all the services they may need.”
Breast cancer is most commonly found in women 50 years old or older. Women ages 40–49 years old are encouraged to talk to their health care provider about when and how often they should receive a screening mammogram. Any woman who is at high risk for breast cancer may need to begin screening earlier. Any woman or man, who has symptoms or changes in their breasts, should schedule an appointment with their healthcare provider immediately. While very rare, it is possible for men to develop breast cancer.
Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health, 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
Burstein. “A mammogram is a quick, safe, and painless screening exam. It can detect small masses and other forms of breast disease that may be too small or deep to be felt by even an experienced healthcare professional.”
Although some women have certain risk factors that may increase their chance of developing breast cancer--most do not. Recommended screening is so vitally important for all women 40 years and older. "Great advances have been made in early breast cancer detection and treatment and many women diagnosed with the disease are living long, healthy lives," concluded Burstein.
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 .
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