Dedicated to Improving the Health of the Public: VMC Provides Life-Saving Care to Disadvantaged Women

Between 2011 and 2012, 261 low-income women at high risk for women’s cancer received mammograms, ultrasounds, and biopsies at Valley Medical Center (VMC). This year an additional 55 disadvantaged, high risk women who need evaluation for possible breast cancer will receive care because $15,000 was raised at the 2012 Pink-the-Rink fundraising event, a partnership between VMC’s GLOW program and The Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team to raise money for The Breast Center at VMC. The average woman has an 8-12 percent risk of developing breast cancer over her lifetime. High risk is defined as greater than 20-25 percent; approximately double that of an average woman.

VMC is dedicated to improving the health of the public, regardless of ability to pay. One way VMC provides care to low-income women is through a grant from the Washington Breast and Cervical Health Program (WBCHP), a population-based program funded by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the state of Washington. The goal of WBCHP is to reduce mortality and morbidity from breast and cervical cancer through early detection. WBCHP is committed to eliminating health disparities among underserved populations, including women of color, women living in rural communities, lesbians, and women aged 50 and older by ensuring these women receive regular mammograms and Pap test screenings, diagnostic exams and prompt access to cancer treatment.

“It’s our mission to provide care to any woman who comes through our doors,” said Sherry Kuzan, RN, Manager, The Breast Center at Valley Medical Center. “When you are a woman at high risk for cancer, and don’t have the means to get preventive medical attention, it’s very scary. Through grants from organizations like WBCHP and our own fundraising efforts we are able to help many women in our community who would otherwise not be able to get care.”

According to the World Health Organization, early detection of cancer greatly increases the chances for successful treatment. Two major components of early detection of cancer are education to promote early diagnosis and screening.

For more information about The Breast Center at Valley Medical Center, or to schedule your mammogram visit valleymed.org/breastcenter.