A high percentage of Virginia's poor, elderly and
minority women lack access to early detection services. These women are the
primary audience of our program. Our goal is to increase access to screening for
women age 50 and older, especially those in minority and low-income groups.
Laying the Groundwork
In 1995, BCCEDP project coordinators completed a
needs assessment involving 101 communities across
. The data collected rendered a picture of the breast and cervical cancer
detection and education resources available and the health behaviors practiced
by women in each locality. Collectively the data produced a profile of the
Commonwealth that was used to develop an operational plan submitted to the
Centers for Disease Control. The application was successful and the Virginia
Department of Health began Every Woman's
Life - a breast and cervical cancer screening program. The Central
Shenandoah Health District partners with VaLiance Health to bring Every Woman's
Life to women in the
Health Professional Benefit Too
While the program is geared to improve the peace
of mind and quality of life for its primary audience, Virginia's health care
community also reaps substantial satisfaction from its involvement in the
effort. For example, the program:
Unifies Virginia's health care professionals
in a massive attack on two vicious health threats.
Provides physicians with a low-cost referral
option for their high-risk patients.
Affords physicians another opportunity to
detect two life-threatening cancers in their early stages.
Increases the volume of patients to be
screened thus making full use of costly diagnostic equipment.
Significant Public Health Problems
There's no question that breast and cervical
cancers are significant public health problems in Virginia.
During 2001 an estimated40,200 American women will die of Breast Cancer and 192,000 will be
diagnoses and 1,100+ deaths in Virginia
breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women under age 65
Deaths can be Reduced
These are frustrating statistics, especially in
the light of technological advances in mammography and cervical cytology.
Breast cancer mortality can be reduced by up
to 40% among women age 50 and older by mammograms and clinical breast
A mammogram is the single most effective
method of detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages.
A mammogram can detect cancer an average of
two years before a women can feel the lump herself.
Cervical cancer deaths have fallen 75% in
the U.S. since the Pap test was introduced in the 1950s.
The Central Shenandoah Health
District works with Valiance Health, LLC to offer Every
Woman's Life to women in
, Rockingham, and Rockbridge counties and the cities of
Health Coalition of the Valley in Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro an
organization that meets quarterly to plan and present:
FREE programs that
raise awareness and educate the public about breast and cervical health
and screening. Call 540-949-0137 ext 117 to schedule.
The Breast Health Coalition of Harrisonburg-Rockingham meets month to
plan and present public education programs. The annual Fall FORUM
features a guest speaker and a panel of local people affected by breast
For information about
the Harrisonburg Coalition, call 540-332-7830 ext 58.
For More Information
About Breast & Cervical Health
partnership with WHSV-TV3, Harrisonburg, Virginia The Breast Health Coalition produces
& Me on 3". This program features information on breast health and is
aired in the news segment on the Monday closest to
the third of the month. In addition, viewers are encouraged to
a friend and agree to remind one another on the 3rd to have a breast
exam, do a self breast exam and have a mammogram ��.routinely ! Throughout
the month, TV-3 spokeswoman, Rachel DiPompa, reminds women how important early
detection can be.