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University of Missouri Health Care News Releases
Ellis Fischel Cancer Center offers free mammograms to women with limited financial resources

Ellis Fischel Cancer Center’s Cancer Screening Services is providing free breast cancer screenings through March 31, 2009, to women with limited financial resources. The free screenings are offered through a grant from the mid-Missouri affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

To be eligible, women must be between the ages of 40 and 64 and live in Adair, Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Howard, Macon, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan or Randolph counties. Women may not have Medicare, Medicaid or health insurance that covers their annual mammograms, and they must demonstrate limited financial resources. Women younger than age 40 who are at high risk for breast cancer are eligible for a free mammogram with a physician’s order.

“We recognize that during the difficult economic climate, some women may defer receiving their annual mammograms,” said Debra Deeken, R.N., manager of Ellis Fischel’s breast health cancer screening services. “With this grant, we want to ensure that women with limited financial resources or those who lack health insurance in mid-Missouri have the opportunity to receive a free breast cancer screening.”

“One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes,” said Paul Dale, M.D., chief of the division of surgical oncology at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. “We can’t stress enough the importance of an annual mammogram. Early detection is the best way to beat breast cancer.”

Cancer screenings are available at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center at 115 Business Loop 70 W. in Columbia, or women may be seen on Ellis Fischel’s mobile mammography van.

The 44-foot long van is a clinic on wheels that features an examination room and a mammography suite. A certified radiology technologist and nurse examiners travel to communities throughout mid-Missouri bringing life-saving cancer screening services.

“Last year our mobile mammography van traveled to 25 counties and 45 different locations throughout Missouri,” said Deeken. “This program is one way Ellis Fischel is fulfilling our mission as Missouri’s official state cancer center, by delivering cancer screening services to rural communities.”

Specialists at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center’s Cancer Screening Services performed approximately 11,750 mammograms in 2008.

To schedule an appointment at Ellis Fischel’s Cancer Screening Services clinic in Columbia, please call (573) 882-8511. To view the upcoming schedule for Ellis Fischel’s mobile mammography van, please visit www.ellisfischel.org/screening/van.shtml.

Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, a part of the University of Missouri Health Care system, provides comprehensive cancer care to patients from nearly every county in the state. More than 100 physician specialists and other trained professionals work together to improve and save the lives of cancer patients. Designated Missouri’s official state cancer center in 2004, Ellis Fischel also offers outpatient treatment and cancer screening services.

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