Many women who live in rural Michigan have limited access to breast health services due to lack of transportation—especially during snowy Michigan winters, when driving conditions are difficult. In an effort to drive breast health education and services in rural communities, Komen Michigan recently announced the launch of "Fueling the Cures."
The program, which aims to increase screening compliance and reduce late-stage diagnosis rates, is a rural outreach and breast cancer screening initiative supported by Crystal Flash, which donated $25,000 to start the program, and will work with Komen Michigan to educate and provide breast cancer screening opportunities for Michigan's rural communities.
According to data from Komen Michigan's 2015 Community Profile, there will be approximately 832 breast cancer diagnoses, 265 late stage diagnoses and 170 breast cancer deaths in Michigan's rural communities—yet evidence shows that if women use the resources available to them, breast cancer mortality can be reduced by 30 percent. With proper screenings and treatment for women in these communities, Komen Michigan could save approximately 275 lives each year.
Komen Michigan is currently raising funds to expand "Fueling the Cures" by providing mobile mammography and follow-up diagnostic testing as needed. Once the initiative is fully funded, Komen Michigan will partner with local health systems such as Spectrum Health and Metro Health to schedule rural community mammography days using their mobile units.
For more information about "Fueling the Cures," visit www.KomenMichigan.org.
Photo courtesy of Susan G. Komen Michigan.