More locals are eligible for free mammograms
FRISCO – Summit County Public Health has increased the number of uninsured or underinsured women it sees in its clinic for breast cancer screening by 50 – from 110 to 160 women, said Karen Seater of the public health department.It began seeing the extra women in August, but the money to fund the free mammograms, breast examinations and pap tests just came through Monday. House Bill 1262 earmarked a portion of Colorado’s tobacco tax for health-related purposes. The money allows 7,500 additional women in Colorado who are uninsured or underinsured to receive free screenings, said Mary Kuhn, the northwest coordinator of Colorado Women’s Cancer Control Initiative.Before the tobacco tax money came through, the Center for Disease Control gave Colorado clinics $3 million for free screenings. This covered about 30 percent of underinsured or uninsured women in the state, Kuhn said. Though 30 percent may sound like a small number, Colorado ranks high nationwide in breast cancer screening – the national average of women the Center for Disease Control funds is 10 percent to 12 percent. Colorado clinics will continue to get the $3 million, in addition to the tobacco tax funds. “More than 2,000 women in Colorado will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year,” said Bev Reddick-Jenkins, community coordinator with the initiative. “However, breast cancer is very treatable and 95 percent curable when detected in its earliest stage. A mammogram, which is a safe x-ray of the breast, can detect a breast cancer up to two years before a woman or her health care provider can find it. Unfortunately, there are still women over 50 years of age who have never had a mammogram or have not had one in several years. These are the women we hope to reach.”Summit County Public Health also screens women ages 40-50 with money from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, when it expanded its service area to include Summit County last year.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.To be eligible for free screenings, women must be 40-64 years old, be uninsured or underinsured and meet the following income guidelines: Family SizeAnnual IncomeMonthly Income1$23,925$1,9942$32,075$2,6733$40,225$3,3524$48,375$4,0315$56,525$4,7106$64,675$5,390Women ages 40-49 who have a personal or family history of breast cancer or who have symptoms of breast cancer also may be eligible for the free examinations. Symptoms include a lump in the breast, a rash or discharge from the breast.Numbers for screeningTo find out if you’re eligible for free mammograms, call Mary Kuhn, coordinator of the Colorado Women’s Cancer Control Initiative, at (970) 248-7173 or call Summit County Public Health at (970) 668-4189.
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