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Digital mammography offered by county health

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Columbiana County Health District wants to remind women to get their mammograms and to routinely conduct self-breast exams. County residents can take advantage of digital mammograms offered through the health department’s Cancer Detection Clinic regardless of insurance status or the ability to pay. In addition to providing the mammogram, Cancer Clinic staff help navigate patients to follow-up services if needed and stay connected with their physician.

“The service is available to all women served by the Columbiana County Health District and the patient must have a doctor of record to whom the results are sent”, said Wesley Vins, Health Commissioner.

“There really is no financial reason not to have a mammogram,” Vins said. If a patient has insurance, the clinic will bill the insurance for the service, but if the insurance company denies the claim, the patient will not be billed. If a client has no insurance, the locally supported Cancer Detection Clinic Levy will cover the costs for the screening.” In the event that something is found, the health district will assist with referrals and coordinate with the client’s physician, make appointments for the client, augmenting, not replacing the doctor,” Vins explained. If there is an alert to cancer, the friendly clinic staff can help navigate the process to get more testing or treatment and assist clients with no insurance to get Medicaid coverage or identify other funding sources.

“There are no strings attached,” Vins said. The staff also provides education, instructs how to do a monthly self-exam, and a clinical breast exam will be given if the client wants one.

It is recommended that women do a self-exam monthly. Post-menopausal women should pick a day of the month and do the self-exam every month on that day.

The cancer detection clinic through the health district has been supported by Columbiana County taxpayers since 1980 and Columbiana County is the only health department in the state to have a cancer detection clinic like this.

The Columbiana County Cancer Detection Clinic levy took on the financial aspects of the cancer clinic in 1980. While the 1965 state funded cancer clinic continued prior to the levy, it was unsustainable without funding, Vins said. With the support of the taxpayers in Columbiana County the Cancer Detection Clinic has continued to provide services without a levy increase for another 40 years. The 10-year levy renewal will be on the ballot in November which costs the owner of a $100,000 home $4.55 per year

“It is a community supporting their family, friends and neighbors,” he said.

Residents of Salem and East Liverpool are served by their own health departments, but can receive services at a “cost of services”rate. If more assistance is needed following a screening, there are other resources to pull from, like BCCP (Breast and Cervical Cancer Project) and donations like the United Local School’s basketball team and student council, as well as other community organizations who raise funds and donate funds for cancer clinic services.

To schedule an appointment for a digital mammogram, pap test, pelvic exam, prostate tests, skin cancer screenings or lung screenings, call the friendly staff at the levy funded Cancer Detection Clinic at the Columbiana County Health District, 330-424-0272.

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