The Buena Vista County Cancer Awareness and Screening Project held a meeting at the AEA building to provide information to women concerning screening education on performing self breast exams and to provide information on screening for cancer.
The project is designed to help women who do not have insurance or access to health care receive cancer screening, and is funded by a grant from the Wellmark Foundation through November 2004.
Breast cancer is the most commonly registered cancer among women in Iowa. Buena Vista County has a breast cancer incidence above the state average. Mammograms, clinical breast exams and pap smears are effective screening tools for early detection of cancer.
Cheryl Lyon, a registered nurse with the Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care said Friday that the grant can provide screening for 100 patients but only 25 have signed up so far.
Lyon said that women are eligible if they:
* have not been able to get a mammogram due to financial considerations
* may have had a mammogram before
* live in Buena Vista County.
And the cost of the screening is free to women who qualify. And if follow-up is needed for an abnormal screening, assistance will be given in locating providers and funding.
Lyon said the screening appointment covers only breast and cervical cancer screening. An additional appointment at the woman's expense may be made to address other health concerns.
Cancer screening includes:
* health history
* appointment with a physician or nurse practitioner at a Buena Vista County health care provider
* clinical breast exam
* pap smear
* education on performing self breast exams.
Lyons said the procedure for the screening was:
* appointments will be made two afternoons each month alternating between Buena Vista Clinic, Family Health Center or other health care offices in BV County
* clinical breast exam and pap smear will be performed at the physician or nurse practioner's clinic
* mammogram and education on self-breast exam will be performed at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center
* transportation and childcare will be provided if needed
* interpreter will be available.
Lyon said women should contact the BV County Public Health and Home Care at (712) 749-2548, ext. 106 to see about qualifying for a cancer screening.