FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 23, 2013
Prevention Services Division
Five more agencies providing free cancer screenings to low-income women
Five new providers have joined 41 agencies across the state providing free breast and cervical cancer screening to low-income women through the Women’s Wellness Connection at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The Women’s Wellness Connection has awarded $5.4 million to these 46 providers this year to screen 16,750 low-income women ages 40 to 64 years.
The new agencies providing free breast and cervical cancer screening are located in Adams, Denver, El Paso, Las Animas and Pueblo counties.
“We are happy to have these new partners join our efforts to prevent breast and cervical cancer,” said Emily Kinsella, manager of the Women’s Wellness Connection. “We urge every Coloradan to take time during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October to reflect on the consequences of breast cancer in their lives, get involved in local breast cancer awareness events and talk to the women they love about getting a mammogram.”
Breast cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in Colorado, killing more than 500 women annually. 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. 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.
Nearly one in four low-income, uninsured Colorado women have been screened for breast and cervical cancer through the Women’s Wellness Connection program. 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. The program partners with the American Cancer Society and nearly half (49 percent) of its $7.3 million budget comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For information on where to find a provider, go to womenswellnessconnection.org or call 1-866-951-WELL (9355).