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It’s October: Time for Breast Cancer Screening

Jana Darlington, promotion, education and targeted outreach manager for the Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region. Provided photo

Even if you’ve put off a mammogram, it’s not too late for the screening test that can detect breast cancer.

“Early detection and early screening really do make a difference in whether something is caught or not,” said Jana Darlington, promotion, education and targeted outreach manager for the Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region.

“I think there’s an urgent component to it,” she said. “But not so urgent that we want people to say, ‘I procrastinated so now it might not be worth it.’ We want them to know getting it done now, even if you waited a year, two years, five years, it’s better than not doing it.”

Cancer Services Program is arranging screening events on Oct. 5, 12 and 19 to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness month. Women ages 40 to 64 who lack insurance are eligible.

“When you look at people in lower incomes and people who are minorities, they might not be as engaged with a primary care provider,” Darlington said. “We are still having to educate people not just about the need for screening, but the need for being engaged in their health.”

African American women who develop breast cancer are more likely to die from the disease than white women and are less likely to survive for five years after diagnosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Studies suggest that the difference is because African American women tend to be diagnosed at a later stage and receive treatment later after diagnosis.

Monroe County residents can all Cancer Services Program at (585) 224-3070 to sign up for one of the following breast cancer screening events or to get more information:

  • 8 to 11 a.m. Oct. 5, UR Medicine Breast Imaging, 500 Red Creek Drive, Henrietta, Suite 130;
  • 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., Oct. 12, Rochester Regional Health Imaging, Medical Office Building, 1415 Portland Ave., Suite 190; or
  • 7:30 to 11 a.m., Oct. 19, Elizabeth Wende Breast Care, 170 Sawgrass Drive, Brighton.

If the mammogram shows an abnormal finding, Cancer Services Program covers further tests and provides a case manager to help women navigate additional appointments. If treatment is needed, the program helps eligible women apply for New York state’s Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program, which offers full Medicaid coverage for eligible people throughout the course of their treatment.

Cancer Services Program was founded in 1993. It promotes age-appropriate breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening for uninsured and underinsured men and women in Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Seneca and Yates counties.

In addition to breast cancer screening, Cancer Services Program provides cervical and colon cancer screening to eligible New York residents.