Car owners can help fight breast cancer

Buying a special license plate is making a difference in fighting breast cancer in Georgia.

October is breast cancer awareness month, and a state health agency has awarded a total of $1.1 million to 16 community organizations in Georgia for breast cancer services to indigent women.

The money comes from the sale and renewal of the Breast Cancer License Tag.

Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in women in the United States, and almost 7,000 women in Georgia will be diagnosed with it this year, said David Cook, commissioner of the state’s Department of Community Health, in a statement.

DCH awarded the grants through the Georgia ACTS (Access, Care, Treatment and Services) Breast Cancer Grant Program.

“When breast cancer is identified at an early stage through mammography and clinical breast exams, these mortality rates improve,” Cook said.

The statewide grants expand breast cancer education, screening, access and outreach, and help provide treatment services to Georgians without health insurance. The grant amounts range from $35,000 to $50,000 for screening projects and up to $200,000 for treatment projects.

St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital in Savannah received the largest amount, $199,827. Organizations receiving the grants provide matching funds or in-kind support that equals or exceeds the amount of the state funds.

The Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (Georgia CORE) administers the grant program on behalf of DCH.

“While Georgia has been successful at increasing breast cancer screening rates, not all women – particularly those without health insurance – receive appropriate screening or treatment services,” said Nancy Paris, president and CEO of Georgia CORE. “The work supported by these grants will help patients identify breast cancer at an early stage, thereby making treatment more effective and possibly saving lives.”

The list of grant recipients, after St. Joseph’s/Candler:

* Meadows Regional Medical Center Inc. $150,000

* Memorial Health University Medical Center Inc. $119,104

* Boat People SOS Inc. $50,000

* Cancer Coalition of South Georgia $50,000

* Center for Black Women’s Wellness Inc. $50,000

* Grady Health System $50,000

* Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition $50,000

* St. Joseph’s Mercy Care Services Inc. $50,000

* YWCA of Greater Atlanta $50,000

* West Central Georgia Cancer Coalition $49,994

* Athens Regional Medical Center $49,966

* Center for Pan Asian Community Services Inc. $49,925

* Young Survival Coalition, Atlanta Affiliate $49,915

* Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Atlanta Affiliate $49,769

*Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition Fund Inc. $35,000

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