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Health

Low-income women may be eligible for mammogram assistance

Quilt raffle raising funds to cover screening costs

The La Salle County Health Department is raffling this quilt to raise money for women in need of mammograms and pelvic exams who do not qualify for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program.
The La Salle County Health Department is raffling this quilt to raise money for women in need of mammograms and pelvic exams who do not qualify for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program.

The La Salle County Health Department, through the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program grant, can help women pay for mammograms and pap smears.

To qualify for assistance, women must be La Salle or Grundy county resident between the ages of 21 to 64 years old and meet certain income and insurance criteria. Through IBCCP, La Salle County Health Department is working to increase breast and cervical cancer awareness and break that cycle of late-stage treatment.

The program provides free mammograms and pap smears for those who qualify as well as assistance with paying the deductible for those who are insured.

A mammogram — the screening test for breast cancer — can help detect breast cancer early when it’s easier to treat. Low-income women and women with no insurance die from breast and cervical cancer more often than other women, according to a health department press release. These high mortality rates are attributed in part to these women generally not receiving regular mammograms and pap smears. As a result, cancers are diagnosed at later stages, when it is more difficult to treat and the chances for survival are lower.

For those women who do not qualify for the IBCCP program or have related charges not covered by the grant, there are a limited amount of community-donated funds to assist with. To support this endeavor, the health department is selling tickets for a quilt raffle tickets at the front desk of its office, 707 E. Etna Road, Ottawa, and at local health fairs. Tickets are $1 each or 6 tickets for $5. The drawing will be Monday, Dec. 2.

For more information on receiving a free mammogram or pap test, call the health department at 815-433-3366.

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