Raising Awareness: Breast Cancer in SC

breast cancer walkBy Jamie Shuster

This year, the American Cancer Society estimates that 3,750 South Carolina women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 670 will die from the disease. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’d like to share with you a few of the great efforts our agency and individual staff members are taking to help increase access to screening services and raise awareness of this disease that impacts so many South Carolina families.

Best Chance Network

As many of you know, increasing access to services is one of our top priorities at DHEC and one of our most successful access initiatives is the Best Chance Network (BCN). BCN is collaboration between DHEC, the American Cancer Society, and more than 250 health care providers across the state. Working together, this year we’ve helped more than 11,000 low-income, uninsured women access potentially lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings at no cost to them.

Women between the ages of 40 and 64 who do not have health insurance and who meet certain income guidelines are eligible for the program. I encourage each of you to take a moment to check out our BCN site to learn more about this important screening program and share the link with your friends and loved ones.

2014 Walk for Life/Race for Life

Many of our staff members are also helping to raise awareness this month by participating in charity events. In the Midlands, a member of our Disease Control team, Seth Edmonds, has created an agency team to race in the Palmetto Health Foundation’s Walk for Life/Race for Life on October 18 in Columbia. Seth, who’s had friends and family members affected by cancer, wanted to help raise awareness of the importance of early detection and make sure that DHEC had a team in the race. If you’d like to join Seth and participate in the walk/race, you can click here for more information.

Thank you to Seth and all of employees who are helping us raise awareness of this disease that will impact 1 in 8 women during their lifetimes.

Are you participating in a breast cancer awareness event in your community you’d like to share with others? Tell us about it in the comment section below and be sure to share your photos with us @scdhec on Twitter and on Facebook.

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