"This year we are able to screen over 800 eligible women for breast and cervical cancer in our four-county Health District, thanks to funding from the Michigan Department of Community Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control," said Pat Fralick, Director of Family & Community Health. "We are very fortunate to have additional financial support from groups like the Antrim County High Tea for Breast Cancer Prevention and the Kappa Sigma sorority in Charlevoix County. Their donations provide funding for community outreach, client support, and patient needs that are not covered in state and federal grants."
The BCCCP is making a difference in Michigan. Since the program's inception in 1991, more than 150,000 women have been screened for breast cancer with more than 2,400 breast cancers diagnosed. Without the BCCCP, many women would not have access to these life-saving services.
During the 2008 tax season, Amanda's Fund raised $71,628. While MDCH is grateful for the generous donations made to the fund, the department needs the public's help to raise $100,000 this year. If the fund raises less than $100,000, it will not be available as a tax check-off option next year.
Sen. Patty Birkholz (R - Saugatuck Township) introduced legislation for Amanda's Fund and Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed it into law in November 2007. The bill was named for Sen. Birkholz's friend, Amanda Price, who has survived three battles with breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Michigan women, and it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women in our state. In 2006, 6,882 women in Michigan were newly diagnosed with breast cancer, with 1,456 women dying of the disease in 2007. According to the 2008 Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey results, women less likely to receive appropriate breast cancer screening are those with lower household incomes.
Early detection is the key to survival. With regular screening, breast cancer is more likely to be detected at an earlier age when it is most treatable. The Michigan Cancer Consortium recommends that average-risk women get an annual clinical breast exam and mammogram starting at age 40.
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. To learn more about Amanda’s Fund and visit www.michigancancer.org/taxcheck-off.cfm; for additional information, or to make a BCCCP appointment in Mancelona, Charlevoix, Petoskey/Harbor Springs, or Gaylord, call the Health Department at 800-432-4121.