Women urged to get screened during National Women’s Health Week

By Karen Forest

Special to The PREVIEW

Each year, Mother’s Day kicks off Women’s Health Week, a time to focus on the women in our lives and encourage them to look after themselves the way they look after us.

The American Cancer Society joins the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in urging women everywhere to schedule preventive screenings during Women’s Health Week, May 8-14.

Women who don’t receive appropriate cancer screenings face a greater risk of late-stage cancer detection and death. The good news is early diagnosis through regular screenings can prevent 98 percent of breast cancer deaths, 96 percent of cervical cancer deaths and 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths. Such screenings can save hundreds of lives and keep thousands of women from getting cancer.

“Women are often the caregivers in the family,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, department executive director and chief medical officer. “During Women’s Health Week, we want to recognize how important their health is to us and urge them to talk to their health care providers about the screening they need to prevent cancer and lead a long, healthy life.”

Most health insurance covers breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings at no cost to the individual. In addition, resources are available around the state for free breast and cervical cancers screenings.

The Women’s Wellness Connection program offers free breast and cervical cancer screenings to eligible women and works in partnership with the American Cancer Society to operate a statewide referral and information line.

To learn more about the program and/or schedule a screening, call (866) 951-WELL (9355) or visit www.womenswellnessconnection.org.

About Women’s Health Week

National Women’s Health Week is a nationwide initiative that calls attention to the importance of women’s health. National Women’s Health Week empowers women to take small, manageable steps for longer, healthier, happier lives. Those steps include eating healthy, being active, managing stress, getting enough sleep and visiting their health care providers to schedule preventive screenings.

During the week, families, health organizations, businesses, communities, the government and individuals come together to raise awareness of women’s health and support activities that showcase the importance of women’s health.

For a list of Colorado Women’s Health Week events, go to http://womenshealth.gov/nwhw/.