Breast Cancer Awareness Month has come and gone. But it’s important for women to focus on their health year-round.
There’s no doubt about it: Routine tests such as pap smears and mammograms can save lives. According to Denver’s Women’s Wellness Connection (WWC), a program administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that offers free preventative screenings to low-income women who meet a variety of guidelines, the survival rate for women who detect cervical cancer in its earliest stages is 92 percent. For breast cancer, that number increases to 98 percent.
If you can afford a pap smear or mammogram, count this as your reminder to make your appointments. (Do it now. We’ll wait.) For Colorado women between the ages of 40 and 64 with limited or no health insurance, more than 120 clinics throughout the state offer free screenings through WWC, including Saint Joseph Hospital, which sends a van with mammography equipment out into the community several times a month.
Follow editorial assistant Mary Clare Fischer on Twitter at @mc_fischer.