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home : opinions : columns September 15, 2014

4/29/2014 10:44:00 AM
Guest column: Show your family you love them - get a health screening

The North Country HealthCare Williams Clinic will put on a Well Woman's Day May 6 from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. This event is devoted to women in an effort to conduct various screenings, along with education and support for a healthier you. Just in time for Mothers Day this is a perfect way to show your loved ones how much they mean to you by getting yourself screened for breast and cervical cancer while also pampering yourself with a free chair massage or reflexology appointment.

Mammograms and cervical screenings will be offered free of charge to uninsured women who qualify for the Well Woman HealthCheck program. Women with insurance who are in need of their mammogram can also take advantage of this opportunity by scheduling an appointment to be seen by the Assured Imaging Mobile Mammography unit at the Williams Clinic. The screenings will take place May 6 at North Country HealthCare Williams clinic located at 301 S. Seventh St., Williams.

Breast Cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the U.S., and the leading cause of death overall in women between the ages of 40 and 55. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 4,670 new cases of breast cancer will be detected in Arizona in 2014 and 780 lives lost.

Coconino County has the fifth highest incidence of breast cancer among the 15 Arizona counties. Mammography can often detect breast cancer at an early stage, when treatment is more effective and a cure is more likely. Numerous studies have shown that early detection with mammography saves lives and increases treatment options.

Cervical cancer starts from cells with pre-cancerous changes (pre-cancers), for most women, pre-cancerous cells may remain unchanged and go away without any treatment. In some women pre-cancerous cells turn into true invasive cancers, which will develop into cervical cancer. The change from pre-cancerous to invasive cancer usually takes several years, although it can sometimes transform in less than a year.

Cancer of the cervix may be prevented or detected early by regular screening with the Pap test. If it is detected early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable cancers. Coconino County has the third highest incidence rate for cervical cancer cases in the state of Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Health Services and the Susan G. Komen Central and Northern Arizona Affiliate pays for the program.

The Williams Well Woman's Health Day is a perfect opportunity for woman without insurance to qualify for these free screening services as well as women with insurance to receive their annual mammogram. Don't wait - call today to schedule your appointment at (928) 522-9404. These simple screenings could add many more Mothers Days for you and your family.

By Jeff Axtell, M.Ed.

North Country HealthCare Williams

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