Healthy Women’s Program
Breast and cervical cancer have touched the lives of many people. Early detection and awareness is the key in the battle against these life-threatening diseases, yet many women who are uninsured, under-insured or lack access to funds can not afford to pay for these services.
Through the support of Community Memorial Health System and fortunate support of funds raised by the Saticoy Regional Womens Club and Heels and Wheels, Community Memorial Health System is able to offer breast cancer screening and treatment and cervical cancer screening to women in our community who lack access to pay for these life-saving exams.
This year an estimated 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women, as well as an estimated 64,640 additional cases of in situ breast cancer. This is an alarming number, yet through the CMHS Healthy Women's Program, we have been actively taking care of women in our community who lack access to life-saving tests and treatments to combat this disease. Last year, 177 women received breast care treatments ranging from mammography exams to biopsies and surgical interventions at the Breast Center at Community Memorial Hospital. We are very proud to help these individuals because without access to our program, many of these women would have few other options. In fact, our unique program is the only one in the county that offers these treatments to women under the age of 40.
This year an estimate 12,900 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Cervical cancer continues to be the second most common type of cancer in women worldwide after breast cancer.
Cancer of the cervix is almost always caused by the human papilloma virus, commonly known as HPV. It is estimated that at any given time 20-40 million Americans are infected with HPV. The good news is that most cases of cervical cancer can be prevented through early detection and treatment, and through funds raised at this year’s Gold Dust Gala we are excited to expand our services to women in need in this particular area.
Last year through our Centers for Family Health clinics located throughout western Ventura County, 23 women qualified to receive free Papanicolaou test (Pap smear). The Pap test can identify abnormal or pre-cancerous changes in the cervix so that they can be removed before cancer develops. In addition, the HPV vaccine treatment series, Gardasil, will be available. This vaccine series protects against 4 strains of HPV (6, 11, 16, 18) that are responsible for approximately 70% of cervical cancers.