Trained mammography technicians will be available to provide free, private screening mammograms to underinsured and uninsured women over the age of 40 at Project Self-Sufficiency, 127 Mill Street, Newton, on Thursday, November 2nd, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Funds to provide the free mammograms were raised by High Point Regional High School’s Field Hockey Team in their annual Play Pink game, an initiative developed ten years ago by recently retired coach, Bev Keur.
As part of the annual Play Pink event, the two competing teams join forces during the weeks leading up to the game to raise funds with car washes, bake sales, t-shirt sales, and raffles. The game itself is punctuated with balloon send-offs in honor of cancer survivors, music, food sales and other activities to honor cancer survivors and to promote awareness of early detection and education. Each team sports pink uniforms during the game. “My hope in starting this event is that the opponent we play each year enjoys the Play Pink experience so much that they initiate their own Play Pink event the following year,” notes Bev. “The reason that we focus on breast cancer is because we are a female team and because breast cancer is so prevalent and it’s really important to spread the word. Our goal is to raise funds to protect ourselves, our relatives and our friends.”
“Combatting the high incidence of late stage breast cancer in this region is one of our highest priorities, and we are extremely grateful to the members of the High Point Regional High School field hockey team for this generous donation which will allow local women to be screened for breast cancer,” comments Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency, as she received a check for $5,000 from the field hockey team.
Breast cancer is often a silent disease, with virtually no symptoms, but it is often completely curable if diagnosed in its early stages. In 1980, the national five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer was about 74%; today that number is 99%. There are currently more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
According to the New Jersey Department of Health, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among New Jersey women and the second leading cause of death, after lung cancer, attributed to cancer in the state. In 2013, more than 7,500 New Jersey women were diagnosed with breast cancer. The rate at which new cases of breast cancer are being diagnosed in Sussex County, as well as in the rest of the state, is stable, according to the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control. The county’s breast cancer death rate is also falling, in accordance with state and national trends. However, the disease contributes to the death of 1,300 New Jersey women annually. Access to breast cancer screenings and optimal treatments is an urgent public health issue.
Free mammograms funded by the High Point Regional High School field hockey team will be offered at Project Self-Sufficiency as part of the agency’s annual Community Health Fair on November 2, 2017, between 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Mammograms will be offered by appointment only to underinsured and uninsured women over the age of 40; some income guidelines will apply. To make an appointment for a free mammogram, or to find out about the other programs and services offered at Project Self-Sufficiency, call 973-940-3500 or visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org.