OPINION

Praise for Yates County Public Health in the fight against cancer

Hannah Farley

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge all of the work that Yates County Public Health has done and continues to do for our community. Perhaps you participated in a flu clinic or brought your dog to a free rabies clinic. Maybe you even called them with questions about the coronavirus or participated in contact tracing in the past year. What do our public health officials do when they are not fielding calls about the virus, distributing vaccines and tracking down outbreaks? The answer: They help people get screened for cancer.

Cancer is a big issue in Yates County as the leading cause of death locally. From Dundee to Rushville and everywhere in between, Yates County Public Health has been working hard to make cancer screenings more accessible to residents and informing them of the importance of regular screenings.

Yates County Public Health partners with the Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region (CSP-FLR) to help get individuals screened by providing free cancer screenings to eligible uninsured individuals. Before and throughout the pandemic, Yates County Public Health and CSP-FLR were in the community distributing colon cancer screening tests and helping women get screened for breast cancer with a mammogram. In both 2019 and 2020, Yates County Public Health hosted events at the fire halls in Benton and Himrod where women could receive a mammogram and men and women could pick up a free colon cancer screening kit provided by CSP-FLR.

Cancer screenings can help save lives. I encourage you to talk with your doctor about when you should get screened and for which cancers. If you are concerned about going into a medical office during this time due to COVID-19, medical offices are taking the necessary precautions to keep all patients safe. If you are uninsured, call the CSP-FLR at 1-877-803-8070 or email CSP@urmc.rochester.edu to see if you're eligible for a free cancer screening. CSP-FLR pays for breast, cervical and colon cancer screenings, as well as diagnostic follow-up for eligible individuals who live within New York State. This project is supported by funds from the State of New York and is managed and facilitated by the Center for Community Health & Prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Hannah Farley is regional community liaison with Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region.

Hannah Farley