According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in every 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In New York State approximately 15,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and about approximately 2,700 women die from the disease every year. These women are our wives, mothers, sisters, and friends.
Here in Oswego County 13 people are diagnosed with cancer and 5 die from cancer each week. Female breast cancer accounts for 24.2% of all cancer cases and 10.3 % of all cancer deaths. “The goal of the Cancer Services Program is to lower those numbers,” said OCO Cancer Services Program Coordinator Carolyn Handville.
“Throughout the month of October we are raising awareness of the risks of breast cancer and registering eligible community members who are both uninsured and between 40 and 64 years of age into the Cancer Services Program so that they may obtain their free screenings,” added Handville.
As part of its awareness campaign, the Cancer Services Program will be a part of “Healthy You”, an event to raise awareness about breast and ovarian cancer. “Healthy You” will be hosted by Oswego Health on 10/17 from 6-8pm at Steamers in Oswego and will feature a panel of healthcare professionals to answer questions regarding syptoms, screenings and treatments for breast and ovarian cancer.
The highlight of OCO’s Cancer Services recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month will be the 8th Annual Human Pink Ribbon event. The Human Pink Ribbon celebration will be held October 28 from 10:00 a.m to 12:00 Noon at Bullhead Point in Fulton, with the Human Pink Ribbon taking shape at 11:40 a.m.
The Human Pink Ribbon celebration offers a morning full of activities including vendors, health care providers, music, free drawings and refreshments, and more. Eligible community members may schedule appointments for free mammograms, breast exams and other cancer screenings.
“I encourage everyone in our community to get your pink on and be a part of the largest human pink ribbon in Oswego County. It’s a fun way to show your support for the fight against breast cancer and for those that have been affected by this disease,” said Handville.
In addition to mammograms and clinical breast exams OCO’s Cancer Services Program offers a number of other cancer screening services including pap/pelvic exams, cervical cancer, and colorectal cancer screenings for men and women. These screenings, available free of charge for uninsured men and women between the ages of 40 and 64, play an important part in maintaining good health.
“We all know someone, whether a family member or a friend, who has experienced this terrible disease. We want to spread the word that the OCO Cancer Services Program is here to help. Regular breast cancer screenings increase the chances that cancer is found in its earliest stages and the earlier the better. 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. A woman’s best chance for survival is finding breast cancer early through regularly scheduled mammograms,” added Handville.
For more information on Breast Cancer Awareness Month or for eligibility requirements for OCO’s Cancer Services Program contact Carolyn Handville at 315-592-0830. Visit the New York State Department of Health website for more information about breast cancer, including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.