Cancer screening rates improve in St. Lawrence County
Friday, June 14, 2019 - 7:30 am

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) recently released their 2019 Information for Action Reports stating St. Lawrence County ranks in the top five counties with the highest percentage of breast and colorectal cancer screenings. According to this report, 87.3% of women in St. Lawrence County have been screened for breast cancer and 79.5% of people between the ages of 50 and 75 have been screened for colorectal cancer.

I would like to applaud the efforts of everyone that has played a part in making cancer prevention important in our communities. Whether you are a patient, business owner, healthcare provider, nonprofit, faith-based organization or public entity, you have made a difference. Helen Keller perfectly stated, “Alone, we can do so little, together, we can do so much.”

Even with the uptick in cancer screening rates, we can’t let our guard down. Breast and colorectal cancers remain to be the second and third leading causes of cancer deaths in New York State, and 280 New York women die from cervical cancer each year. Even though these numbers are sobering, we can do something to prevent these deaths. We can continue moving the cancer screening rate needle upward by ensuring everyone in our community receives regular screenings. Breast, cervical and colorectal cancers are preventable and if cancer is caught early, treatable. Don’t let you, your family member, friend or neighbor become a cancer statistic.

The Cancer Services Program (CSP) of the North Country, led by Oswego County Opportunities, and delivered in collaboration with the Health Initiative, works diligently to improve cancer screening rates. We do this by offering free breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings to residents of St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego counties.

I am proud to say we are deeply committed to improving community health and glad to be part of the effort. We have joined forces with the 80% in Every Community campaign and the NYS Cancer Consortium and look for more opportunities to collaboratively improve the health of our communities. Please join us in this movement and know cancer screenings save lives!

If you would like to view the reports, visit https://tinyurl.com/NYSDOH-IFA. To take the pledge to support 80% in Every Community visit https://nccrt.org/80-in-every-community/, and for more information about the local work to reduce the burden of cancer, visit www.gethealthyslc.org or www.oco.org.

Tracy Moody

Health Initiative fiscal manager