Free mammograms to be offered in Ogdensburg, Potsdam
Free mammograms in Ogdensburg and Potsdam are part of the Cancer Services Program of St. Lawrence County’s “going pink” effort for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Canton Potsdam Hospital and St. Lawrence County want to raise awareness of breast cancer and increase the capacity of effective breast health programs in the county.St. Lawrence County ”Goes Pink” featured events include Kick Off Day, Oct. 5 at 9 a.m. in the Human Services Building first-floor lobby at 80 State Rt. 310 in Canton.
A free mammogram day is set for Oct. 12 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Connection for Women in Ogdensburg. Women may call (888) 908-2462 to schedule appointment.
A second free mammogram day will be held at Canton-Potsdam Hospital in Potsdam from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 15. Appointments can be made by calling 386-2325.
St. Lawrence County government employees will also be going pink to raise breast cancer awareness. People at many county departments will be wearing pink t-shirts promoting the Cancer Services Program and will have educational materials available.
Many county employees donated to the Gouverneur Business Women’s Breast Cancer Fund by purchasing and wearing a pink hair extension showing their support for those with breast cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Burden 2010, an average of 12 St. Lawrence County individuals are diagnosed with cancer each week and five will die each week. Female breast cancer accounts for 11 percent of all cancer cases in St. Lawrence County and 5.4 percent of cancer deaths. 74.1 percent of the breast cancer cases are detected early.
Experts say that getting regular screening tests is the best way for women to lower their risk of dying from breast cancer. Screening tests can find breast cancer early, when it's most treatable.
Due to the increased use of mammography, most women in the United States are diagnosed at very early stages of breast cancer, before symptoms appear. However, not all breast cancer is found through mammography. The most common symptoms of breast cancer are a change in the look or feel of the breast, a change in the look or feel of the nipple, and nipple discharge.
According to the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some warning signs you should be aware of are:
• a lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
• swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
• change in the size or shape of the breast
• dimpling or puckering of the skin
• itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
• pulling in of the nipple or other parts of the breast
• nipple discharge that starts suddenly
• new pain in one spot that doesn’t go away.
The Cancer Services Program is a grant-funded program that can provide free screenings to women 40-64 years of age with no health insurance. They can provide free clinical breast exams, mammograms, diagnostic breast procedures, and pap and pelvic exams. Younger women who are high risk for breast cancer or who are having a breast concern may also qualify. Breast cancer can also affect men. Men who are having a breast concern may also qualify for the program.
People who are uninsured are encouraged to contact the Cancer Services Program of St. Lawrence County to find out how to get free breast cancer screening. Call 386-2325.