Saint Michael's Medical Center announced that it has received a $50,000 one-year grant from the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program to continue a program designed to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer and access to breast health education.

The grant will fund Saint Michael's In The Pink Cancer Screening and Prevention program, which educates Newark-area women and refers them to low-cost or free mammograms, diagnostic and clinical breast exams and linkages to treatment in their own communities.

The vital program will also provide access to cervical, colorectal and prostate cancer screening to eligible men and women who are uninsured and underinsured.

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“We are proud that the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade shares our mission and has chosen to support our program," said Mohamed Esiely, MD Women’s’ Health Screening provider, In The Pink Cancer Screening Program. "With these funds, we will be able to reach a diverse population of medically underserved women and men with limited or no access to adequate breast health screening and education."

Esiely said the grant will also allow the program to provide breast health services via a “Mobile Unit.” 

"The mobile unit removes the barrier of access to this valuable resource, while leveraging resources that encourages and fosters community health and wellness through early detection and prevention," Esiely said.

It is the fifteenth year that the program has received funding from the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade to support its work on this important health issue, and in recognition of the program’s excellence.  

Since January 2002, In The Pink at Saint Michael's has reached more than 50,000 women with information about the importance of early detection of breast cancer and has referred almost 20,000 women for mammograms and clinical breast exams. 

The program was recognized by the American Cancer Society with the Diamond distinction for “Innovation and Intervention” 

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the United States.  According to the American Cancer Society, 51,680 new cases of breast cancer will be detected in New Jersey this year and 15,880 lives will be lost. 

While advances have been made in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure, early detection still affords the best opportunity for successful treatment. Programs such as In The Pink help ensure that all women have access to early detection information and options, even poor and medically underserved women.