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Peconic Bay Medical Center’s Cancer Services Program Of Eastern Suffolk County

Originally Posted: January 27, 2011

Riverhead - Suffolk County bears a significant breast, cervical and colorectal cancer burden. Breast cancer is of particular concern on eastern Long Island, where the incidence rate is 22 percent higher than the rest of Suffolk County.

Complicating the outlook for cancer incidence and mortality for eastern Long Island is the increasing number of people without insurance, which affects cancer survival rates. Unfortunately, lack of insurance often determines the likelihood of cancer survival. Uninsured people are twice as likely to die of cancer within five years. If the disease is detected early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer exceeds 96 percent. The American Cancer Society (ACS) states mammograms are among
the best early detection methods, yet 13 million U.S. women 40 years of age or older have never had one.

Cervical cancer screenings can detect cancers that are more easily treated and help to isolate precancerous cell changes before they develop into cervical cancer. Pap test can detect precancerous cells or cervical cancer in the early stage when it is one of the most successfully treatable cancers.

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the U.S. But regular colorectal cancer screening can, in many cases, prevent colorectal cancer altogether. ACS recommends that both men and women at average risk for developing colorectal cancer should start colorectal cancer screening at age 50.

The Cancer Services Program of Eastern Suffolk County is a Peconic Bay Medical Center Program funded by the New York State Department of Health, Suffolk County Department of Health Services and The Greater NYC Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. Men and women screened through this unique program are assisted by patient navigators who offer assistance accessing diagnostic and treatment services for those whose screenings establish the need for further care. Bi-lingual navigators work to remove barriers preventing clients from completing diagnostic work ups. The navigators also offer assistance to any one diagnosed with breast, cervical or colorectal cancer by offering referrals to other community agencies for additional support services.

Maureen O'Connor LMSW, is program director of the Cancer Services Program of Eastern Suffolk County at Peconic Bay Medical Center.

For more information contact the Cancer Services Program of Eastern Suffolk County at 631-548-6320. Don't let lack of insurance stop you from getting screened for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer.

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