Groups reach out to improve cancer screening rates

Aug 13, 2019

Credit Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

There’s an effort underway to improve cancer screening rates throughout the Rochester-Finger Lakes region, particularly for underserved populations.

Health providers, lawmakers and representatives of community organizations did some brainstorming on that subject Tuesday  in a meeting held in southwest Rochester.

Jana Darlington is involved in outreach and education with the Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes region.

She says one way to increase cancer screening is by going out into various communities to let people know that these services are available to them.

“We partner with lots of great organizations that bring services to you, mobile mammography, we’re also able to screen for colorectal cancer at home so we can mail those right to you and then we cover the price,” Darlington said.

Tonya Brooks is program manager for the mobile mammography center. She says they also partner with local businesses.

“We actually work with retail too, we go to a Tops plaza , Walmart plaza and just park it. And what we do is we reach out to the different doctor offices, hair salons, nail salons and say, hey, we’re doing free mammograms,” Brooks said.

Officials say that health insurance will cover the cost of  cancer screenings, and if a person doesn’t have insurance, there are other programs, like the Cancer Services Program, that can help them.

Organizers with the program note that in Monroe County, between 18 and 20 percent of women are not screened for cervical cancer and in both Monroe and Livingston Counties, between  11.8 and 18.2 percent of adults are not screened for breast cancer.