Breast cancer is the primary cancer diagnosed in women; yet, it is treatable if discovered early through clinical breast exams or mammograms. Unfortunately, many Iowa women don't receive the appropriate screenings.
A group of concerned health-care advocates in Buena Vista County is working to change this. With the help of a $47,083 grant from The Wellmark Foundation, the Buena Vista Health Department is coordinating the Cancer Awareness and Screening Project.
Other partners include Trimark Physicians Clinic, Buena Vista Regional Medical Center's Center for Women and Cancer and Radiology Services, Iowa State University Cooperative Extension Service, the Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, the Council Against Domestic Abuse, Sports Rehabilitation & Professional Therapy Associates, and the American Cancer Society.
This project builds breast and cervical cancer awareness and provides Pap and mammography screenings to underinsured and uninsured women ages 40 to 55 in Buena Vista County, explained Diane Anderson, RN, project coordinator. She said special emphasis will be placed on reaching women who have never had a mammogram. Community partners will mobilize women to engage in a health program that includes education, clinical breast exams, Pap smears, and mammograms.
The Wellmark Foundation has provided nearly $6.73 million to fund 145 health-related grants in Iowa and South Dakota since 1997, including $771,756 this year.