Free breast cancer screenings for the uninsured

St. Luke TMs Hospital has received a generous grant in the amount of $25,543, from the Northwest Ohio Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The grant will allow for 100 uninsured community members to have access to clinical breast exams and mammograms.

At the Komen Northwest Ohio Affiliate, we conducted an assessment of our community to identify the breast health needs of women and men in Northwest Ohio, said Mary J. Westphal, executive director. We are confident that our mission to save lives and end breast cancer forever is one step closer thanks to the meaningful programs of the Komen funded grants.

The grant will cover mammogram screening for 100 uninsured men and women living in Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa and Wood counties.

Community members can access the services in one of two ways:

They can request a doctor TMs order for a mammogram from their family doctor. Then call 419-893-5988.

Or they can attend one of St. Luke TMs free breast cancer screenings on Wednesdays, Oct. 6 and 13. To make an appointment, call 419-893-5988. In order to be eligible for the free breast cancer screening you must be without health insurance, 40 and older and have not had a mammogram in the past 12 months. Women younger than 40 who have found a lump in their breast or have a first-degree relative with breast cancer are also eligible. Eligible men include those who have found a lump in their breast tissue or have a first-degree relative with breast cancer.

All participants will be asked to provide their name, telephone number and address of their family doctor as well as information about past mammograms.

The five-year survival rate for female breast cancer survivors in the United States has improved from 63% in the early 1960s to 89% today, the American Cancer Society tells us. Part of that success is the result of finding cancers earlier, said Deb Fauble, community services coordinator, St. Luke TMs Hospital. Thanks to the generous support of Komen Northwest Ohio Affiliate, St. Luke TMs Hospital will be able to provide potentially life-saving clinical breast exams and mammograms to those women and men in our community who don TMt have health insurance.

The Northwest Ohio Affiliate is one of 125 Susan G. Komen for the Cure Affiliates on the front line dedicated to ending breast cancer in their communities. Komen Affiliates support innovative programs that help men and women defeat the cultural, social, educational and financial barriers to breast cancer screening and treatment.

-Erica Portillo