News Release

Health Department of Northwest Michigan
serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego Counties
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New breast and cervical cancer screening appointments for low-income women available in Antrim and Charlevoix Counties thanks to donations from local groups

(August 24, 2007) New appointment slots for breast and cancer cervical cancer screening are available at no charge to eligible women thanks to donations to the Health Department. Two community groups, Alden High Tea for Breast Cancer and Sue DeYoung/Judy Edger Memorial Breast Cancer Walk donated proceeds from their events to support clinics in their local communities.

The donations cover expenses for 50 new screening appointments. “We’re very grateful to both the Alden High Tea and the Sue Deyoung/Judy Edger Memorial Breast Cancer Walk,” said Teresa Sington who coordinates the Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program in a seven-county region that consists of Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Grand Traverse, Emmet, Leelanau, and Otsego counties. “We received funding from the state health department to screen 645 eligible women across the region this year. But there are so many more that need it. It’s fabulous that so many people work so hard to provide additional cancer screenings for the women who need them in their local communities."

Sington said the screenings are important to identify cancers in the early stages, when they are easier and much less expensive to treat. “About a quarter of the women we see are referred to specialists for further diagnostic tests,” she said. “We refer to a network of physicians who graciously accept reduced payment for women screened through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program.”

To qualify for the program women must be 40-64 years of age and meet certain income eligibility requirements, and have no health insurance.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For additional information about the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program, call Sington at 231-533-1012.