FULTON, NY – Statistics show that 1 in every 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In New York State 15,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 2,700 women die from the disease every year.
Here in Oswego County 13 people are diagnosed with cancer and 5 die from cancer each week.
Female breast cancer accounts for 11.4% of all cancer cases and 5.2% of all cancer deaths.
For Oswego County Opportunities’ Cancer Services Program those are unacceptable numbers that they are dedicated to reducing.
In recognition of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Cancer Services Program is conducting a month long crusade aimed at educating community members of the importance of breast exams in the fight against breast cancer.
“Our goal is to raise awareness of the risks of breast cancer and register eligible community members who are both uninsured and between 40 and 64 years of age into the Cancer Services Program so that they may obtain their free screenings. October provides us with added opportunity to promote the services the program offers while there is such a strong focus on breast cancer,” said OCO Cancer Services program coordinator Carolyn Handville.
As part of its awareness campaign OCO Cancer Services Program will be hosting free mammogram testing at Oswego Hospital October 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at the Fulton Medical Imagining Center, 522 S. Fourth St., Fulton, on October 8, 17 and 22 from 1 – 4 p.m.
Appointments are required and may be made by calling the Cancer Services Program office at 315-592-0830.
Members of the Oswego City Fire Department, IAFF Local #126, will once again be lending their support by selling specially designed Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirts.
The shirts, which are available in children’s sizes S-L and adult sizes S – XXL are available Monday through Friday at the East Side Fire Station, 35 E. Cayuga St., Oswego, throughout the month of October.
The shirts will also be available during the East Side Fire Station Open House, October 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The shirts are $15 each and all proceeds benefit OCO’s Cancer Services Program.
The highlight of OCO’s Cancer Services Program recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month will be the forming of the sixth annual Human Pink Ribbon. Taking place October 17 at the OCO’s Reproductive Health Center in Fulton, 522 S. Fourth St., Fulton, the Human Ribbon will be part of a morning long celebration beginning at 8:30 a.m. and will include free gifts, free drawings, free face painting, free refreshments courtesy of the Cancer Services Program, and a variety of health related vendors and even crafts for sale.
The Human Pink Ribbon will begin forming at 11:30 a.m. There will also be free mammograms courtesy of the Fulton Medical Center.
“It’s a must-attend ceremony for our whole community. Put on your pink and show your support for the fight against breast cancer and for those that have been affected by this disease,” Handville said.
In addition to mammograms and clinical breast exams OCO’s Cancer Services Program offers a number of other cancer screening services including: pap/pelvic exams, and colorectal cancer screenings for men and women. These screenings, which are available free of charge for uninsured men and women between the ages of 40 and 64, play an important part in maintaining good health.
“We all know someone, whether a family member or a friend, who has experienced this terrible disease. We want to spread the word that the OCO Cancer Services Program is here to help. Regular breast cancer screenings increase the chances that cancer is found in its earliest stages and the earlier the better. Great advances have been made in early detection and treatment of breast cancer, and many women diagnosed with the disease are living long, healthy lives,” added Handville.
For more information on Breast Cancer Awareness Month or for eligibility requirements for OCO’s Cancer Services Program call Handville at 315-592-0830.