GENESEO — To counter rising breast cancer rates in Livingston County, the Elizabeth Wende Breast Care center is holding special hours on September 9 to offer free screening mammograms for women ages 40 and over, regardless of their health insurance status.
The breast care center says that the annual event, now in its second year, is intended to accommodate uninsured or under-insured women who might not have time for appointments during normal 8am to 4:30pm hours. The increased screenings are in response to statistics from the Livingston County Health Department suggesting that cancer rates are on the rise.
“Breast cancer rates have been increasing for the past five years,” said Jackie Small, Public Educator for the Health Department. “Livingston County has a higher incidence rate for breast cancer than the New York State average.”
Health Department records say that female breast cancer accounts for an alarming 14.3% of all cancer cases in Livingston County, but only 5.7% of the County’s cancer deaths.
Increased breast cancer screenings may in part be responsible for the low death rate. Catching the disease early is apparently one of the best ways to prevent cancer deaths.
“An increased incidence rate is not necessarily the worst thing,” added Small. “It is partially the result of increased screening.”
The Breast Care center will hold special hours to book appointments and perform the exams at their clinic at 126 Court Street, near the Curves women’s fitness center. There will be tea and refreshments, and a special prize drawing while clients are waiting.
Women over age 40, who do not have health insurance that covers breast screening, are encouraged to book appointments in advance by calling 442-2190, and selecting Option 1, then Option 2.