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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 09/28/01
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Cancer Screening Tests Free to Women at Twice the Federal Poverty Level

Cincinnati--October is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To help promote awareness, the University of Cincinnati (UC) Medical Center is offering free cervical and breast cancer screenings to eligible women in Ohio. This comprehensive screening is part of The Southwestern Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Project sponsored by UC College of Medicine, supported by the Health Alliance, and over 50 other healthcare providers in the region. The free screenings are funded by grants from the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The UC grant now covers screenings for women in the following Ohio counties: Hamilton, Butler, Clinton, Clermont, and Warren. The Health Alliance screening sites include the following Ohio hospitals: The Christ Hospital, the Fort Hamilton Hughes Hospital, The Jewish Hospital and The University Hospital in Cincinnati. The breast and cervical cancer screening program is available in every county in Ohio.

"This project strives to significantly increase the number of women in Ohio screened for breast and cervical cancer," said project coordinator Beth O'Connor, RN. For the past five years, the project has enrolled over 4,000 women and offered free pap tests, pelvic exams, clinical breast exams and mammograms to Ohio women who have a limited income and are uninsured or under insured. During this five-year period, 52 breast cancers and four cervical cancers were detected.

"The Ohio project targets women between ages 40 and 49 for Pap tests and women over the age of 50 for mammograms," said O'Connor. "This program ensures free mammograms and pelvic exams for eligible women who may otherwise go without."

"Screening and early detection are the key to saving lives," said principal investigator of the project Nader Husseinzadeh, MD, UC professor and director of the Division of Gyn-Oncology in the UC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Husseinzadeh has been named in Woodward and White's Best Doctors in America for the Midwestern section. By raising awareness about the importance of early detection this project has contributed to the 20 percent increase in mammography use among women older than 50 and has helped reduce disparities in screenings for racial and ethnic minorities.

For more information on the Breast and Cervical Cancer screening program, and a participating health center in your area, call (513) 584-4342 or (513) 584-4359 in Hamilton County, or call toll free at 1-888-PAP-MAMM (727-6266) if you live in an Ohio county outside of Hamilton County.

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