By Karen Forest
Special to The PREVIEW
Each year, Mother’s Day kicks off Women’s Health Week, a time to focus on the women in our lives and encourage them to look after themselves the way they look after us. The American Cancer Society joins the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in urging women everywhere to schedule preventive screenings during Women’s Health Week, May 11-17.
Women who don’t receive appropriate cancer screenings face a greater risk of late stage cancer detection and death. The good news is early diagnosis through regular screenings can prevent 98 percent of breast cancer deaths, 96 percent of cervical cancer deaths and 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths. Such screenings can save hundreds of lives and keep thousands of women from getting cancer.
“Women are often the caregivers in the family,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, department executive director and chief medical officer. “During Women’s Health Week, we want to recognize how important their health is to us and urge them to talk to their doctors about the screening they need to prevent cancer and lead a long, healthy life.”
Resources are available around the state for free breast and cervical cancers screenings. The department’s Women’s Wellness Connection program offers free breast and cervical cancer screenings to eligible women. The program works in partnership with the American Cancer Society to operate a statewide referral and information line. To learn about the program and/or schedule a screening, call 356-5059 or (866) 951-WELL (9355). Visit www.womenswellnessconnection.org to learn more.
Local resources for colorectal cancer screenings for women and men 50 years or older may exist in your community. To learn about the Colorado Colorectal Screening Program, call (866) 227-7914 or visit colonscreen.coloradocancercenter.org to learn about participating clinics and eligibility criteria.