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Free breast, cervical cancer screenings available locally
Free breast and cervical cancer screenings available for low-income women

Date published: 10/29/2006

By JANET MARSHALL

Women who would like to be screened for breast and cervical cancer, but lack the ability to pay, can be screened through a program called Every Woman's Life.

The statewide program provides free Pap smears and mammograms to women ages 45 to 64 who have little or no health insurance and meet income requirements.

Screenings are held most Monday mornings, said Kathy Johnson, community health outreach worker for the program based at the Fredericksburg Health Department.

"At least every other week, there's something [detected]," Johnson said. "There's a lump. There's something that needs to be looked at."

Caught early, cancers are more easily beaten, she noted.

"If you wait, it could be life-threatening," Johnson said.

Johnson said women often put aside their own health-care needs, especially when money is tight.

"If you're low-income and you have no insurance, you're not going to go run out and take care of yourself," Johnson said. "The message we want to get out is that you have a way to do it. We will help you."

For more information, call the city Health Department at 899-4142. Or call the Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program at 866/395-4968.

To reach JANET MARSHALL:540/374-5527
Email: jmarshall@freelancestar.com