ALBANY, NY (WENY) – As Breast Cancer Awareness month comes to a close, some state leaders continue to push forward efforts to increase breast cancer screenings.
Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced $41 million in funding to the State Department of Health to boost screenings for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer. Some advocates said this funding is important because screening is critical to improving cancer outcomes.
“Cancer screening saves lives. Period. If you are diagnosed with cancer at an early stage, you increase your likelihood of survival,” said Michael Davoli, Senior Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
Other advocates added this funding will also help with treatment referral services.
“Breast cancer is a process and the first step in that process is the screening, but once a person is diagnosed there’s many many decisions to be made and steps that need to occur in order to get the appropriate treatment,” said Janine Guglielmino, Vice President of Mission Delivery at Living Beyond Breast Cancer.
The funding is planned to be distributed over the course of five years through The Cancer Services Program to local organizations that will provide screenings in their community.
Davoli said this funding will help organizations identify individuals who need to be screened for breast, cervical, or colorectal cancer. He also said there is more that state leaders can be doing.
In 2017, funding for the New York State Cancer Services Program was cut by 20 percent. It went from $25.3 million to $19.8 million. Davoli said state leaders need to restore that budget.
“The Cancer Services Program provides that core breast, cervical, and colorectal screening for uninsured New Yorkers and without that funding, there are thousands of New Yorkers that simply can’t get screened,” he said.
For more information on the Cancer Services Program, visit their website.