October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition ended the month on a high note with Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., in Sussex County earlier today. The event coincided with Sussex County Council’s Sixth Annual Health Awareness Week, Oct. 21-25. In addition to mammograms, employees were offered flu shots, blood bank memberships, insurance information and more.
Carper toured the Delaware Division of Public Health’s mobile mammography van, stationed for the day outside Sussex County Council. DPH provides funding to DBCC to operate and staff the year-round efforts in partnership with Beebe Medical Center. A Beebe Medical Center mammographer conducts breast screenings on the van for Delaware women over age 40.
DBCC’s bilingual screening navigator helps guide people with no insurance to financial resources like Medicaid and Screening for Life to cover annual mammograms. Carper met staff and greeted women waiting for their screenings.
DBCC Executive Director Vicky Cooke welcomed Carper and shared information about their services. “We bring the van directly to people by coming to their workplaces and into their backyards,” Cooke said. “In addition to the screening services, we offer educational components like knowing your risk factors and ways to decrease your risk such as limiting alcoholic beverages and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”
DBCC will host ¡VIDA! Saturday, Nov. 16, at Marantha Christian Church in Dover. The day features breast health education, free screenings, and information on how to live a healthy lifestyle. The church is located at 1235 E. Division St., Dover.
Carper toured the van and discussed the importance of preventive screenings. “Early detection and intervention is the best way to increase cancer survival rates, particularly when it comes to breast cancer. When breast cancer is detected and treated early, the survival rate is more than 90 percent. That’s why I’m proud of our state’s efforts to increase access to preventive care and make these services affordable for everyone,” said Carper. “The Affordable Care Act requires new health insurance plans to provide free preventive mammograms and other screenings in order to detect breast cancer at the earliest stage possible. The legislation also prohibits insurance companies from denying patients based on pre-existing conditions, and removes lifetime and annual caps on benefits, ensuring that women who are diagnosed with breast cancer will receive the services they need.”
The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition is the only statewide organization solely focused on breast cancer in Delaware. It runs programs and services in Delaware, and nearby regions of Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. The coalition offers programs to men and women recently diagnosed with breast cancer, such as mentors, survivorship activities and much more. To learn more about DBCC, go to debreastcancer.org.