Cheap Thrills: Free Women’s Health Care Screening

Not to be flippant about anything as serious as breast or cervical cancer, but I wanted to call attention to this item from our calendar of events (The Rail). Having recently written about Lisa Johnson, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39, I was excited to see this opportunity for women with no insurance or who are under-insured to get free mammograms and pap tests. Space is limited and appointments are required (see below).

Addendum: I just spoke to Lisa today. She is continuing to receive treatment and is in good spirits. She had a “wonderful” Valentine’s Day wedding/renewal of vows with her sweetie Steve, and she thanks all in the community for their support.
The family is experiencing serious financial hardship as a result of Lisa’s illness. Friends have established a benevolent account for Lisa and her family. Donations may be made at any branch of Washington Mutual.

Free Women’s Health Screening Planned
Peninsula Community Health Services and the Kitsap County Health District will collaborate to bring a free one-day women’s health screening event to Kitsap County on March 28 as part of the 2009 West Sound Women’s Show sponsored by Soroptimist International of Greater Bremerton.
Screenings will be from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the President’s Hall at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, 1200 NW Fairgrounds Road in Bremerton.
There will be breast and cervical health screening, including a mammogram and Pap test free to women between 40 and 64 who are uninsured, have limited insurance or who have limited income. Exams will be conducted in the Swedish Hospital Breast Care Express, a full-service, self-contained, 64-foot mammography unit and women’s preventive exam clinic on wheels. A variety of health resources also will be available.
Child care will be provided during the exam, interested women should make an appointment by calling patient resources at Peninsula Community Health Services at (360) 377-3776. Space is limited, so appointments should be made as soon as possible.

9 thoughts on “Cheap Thrills: Free Women’s Health Care Screening

  1. Breast cancer is not the leading killer of women, heart disease is. In fact, breast cancer is not even the leading cancer killer of women, lung cancer is. In terms of numbers of women who die each year from a particular disease, heart disease is far, far more serious.

    from CNN: (CNN) — What is the leading cause of death in women? Most women will say it’s breast cancer. So it comes as a surprise to many people that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in both women and men.

    “One out of two women are going to have, live with, and/or die from heart disease and stroke,” said Martha Hill, Ph.D., R.N., a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and immediate past president of the American Heart Association. “It is amazing women are still not getting that message, and one has to ask why.”

    Maybe it is time the media stops overemphasizing breast cancer. Maybe it is time that we give ourselves permission to address the real killers, the ones much less sexier and interesting. Maybe it is time we stop it with all the pink ribbon campaigns that distract and dilute the real message of women’s health.

    Plus, because of the political nature of the issue, we cannot even look at the possibility that breast cancer rates have increased with abortion rates. We still cannot look at the link between the two and that there maybe a causal effect.

    Is breast cancer just that much sexier as a disease that it makes us overlook the more serious concerns?

  2. Mary – I agree. Without minimizing the challenges faced by women with breast cancer, I would say bc has become a huge bandwagon that is all too easy to jump on.

    I recently wrote about the prevalence of eating disorders, about which a local expert says there is a woeful lack of awareness, even within the medical community.

  3. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women. Heart disease is in the lead, but cancer is on pace to become the No. 1 cause of death worldwide in 2010. There are many messages regarding the need to exercise, eat properly, lower one’s cholesterol, reduce alcoholic intake, lower obesity. We are inundated with anti-smoking campaigns. Men are urged to check their prostates. Women are reminded of the same, as well as to get mammograms and perform self-tests.

    They are all killers. Neither message has to go away for another to have meaning. In order to be proactive (hated word; deal with it) vs. reactive, logic dictates continuing with coverage until more people get it.

  4. I believe that breast cancer tugs at our hearts more than heart disease and some other cancers. Maybe it is because we think of our mothers when we think of breasts. Maybe it is because breasts are secondary sex characteristics. Maybe it is because breast cancer kills more young women than does heart disease.

    Women do need to know that getting mammograms will not save them from breast cancer, nor will it guarantee that “catching it early” will keep them alive. It may be that they will just “catch it early” and have surgery, chemo and/or radiation younger than they would have otherwise. Still, I believe it’s wise for women to get mammograms. They just need to know that things could still turn out badly no matter how carefully they get these done every year or two.

    Avoiding hormones, either in food or in pills, avoiding tobacco smoke and pesticides, eating a healthy, low fat diet, limiting alcohol consumption, getting enough exercise and avoiding stress (or learning a Zen method of dealing with it) might go further to increase life span and good health for women than all of the mammography available to them.

  5. Breast Cancer is popular.
    Lung Cancer is popular.
    Heat Disease is popular.
    COPD is not popular
    … yet COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. and rapidly rising.
    The fact is COPD kills more people per year than lung cancer and breast cancer combined.

    Many if not most COPDers go on to develop heart disease and may have heart disease listed as cause of death on the Death Certificate…not the ‘real cause’… COPD.

    As far as mammograms go, I’ll get one again when ‘they’ use the same type pinching machines to detect prostrate cancer in men.

    Sharon O’Hara

  6. Sharon – You said,

    “As far as mammograms go, I’ll get one again when ‘they’ use the same type pinching machines to detect prostrate cancer in men.”

    Having one’s breast flattened like a pancake is no picnic, but it’s my understanding that, as mojo7 says, neither is getting to the bottom of any problems with the prostate.

    Chris Henry

  7. Chris and jojo7… I have several reasons why I personally don’t get mamagrams any longer. Being pinched is unpleasant but not a test breaker. (It is my personal choice…not for anyone else)

    My comment was meant to be funny or cringe worthy. So much for that! I misspoke..I’m sorry.

    I actively advocate for early detection testing and never meant to discourage it.

    My father died from prostate cancer.
    I loathe all forms of cancer.
    I especially loathe surgeries on older people that not only doesn’t solve the problem, the result ends up sucking the quality out of a formally joyous life and spirit.

    Being open and frank with one’s Primary Doctor is mandatory to the patients own best health care. Each person is an individual and discussion with their Primary Doctor is essential to making medical decisions.

    Sometimes the ‘cure’ or action is worse, much worse, than doing nothing but monitor the cancer…. if quality of life matters. (in my opinion as a non medical professional)

    Quality of life is precious, something to treasure. Without it we have nothing.
    In my opinion,
    Sharon O’Hara

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Please enter the word MILK here: