Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lots of "Cancer" money in Georgia but not to prevent Cancer

I wanted to thank the Rome Newswire for running this news release and for caring about the women of northwest Georgia. It certainly is unfortunate that women in a community of so many health care providers and such intense competition for health care dollars are left unable to find any affordable health care at all. We at Women of W.O.R.T.H. aim to change that.

Shortly after signing our Declaration, the clinic received biopsy results showing a young Rome area woman has invasive cervical cancer. This woman called her health department (Chattooga County) several months ago and they refused a Pap smear appointment for her until she brought her previous medical records in for them to review and decide whether she could even have a Pap smear there at all. I have heard this story multiple times from women in our 10 county health district. These bureaucratic delays in public health worsen health outcomes for our most vulnerable citizens and increase health care costs for everyone. Several months ago, this woman may have needed only a hysterectomy or even simple cervical surgery, but now she will require an extensive work-up by oncologists, cancer staging, more extensive surgery and likely chemotherapy-and that only depending on her stage of cancer. I fear it may be extensive.

We have over 20 signers to our Declaration now and will soon present this to our Boards of Health and County Commissioners demanding, for starters, that our public health departments stop putting roadblocks in the paths of women seeking preventive health care.

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