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October 31, 2011

For More Information Contact

  • Ruth Wolford, MSN, RN, nurse manager, New River Health District, 540-381-7100, ext. 198
  • Robert Parker, public information officer, Western Region, 540-381-7100, ext. 151


(CHRISTIANSBURG, Va.) – Fifteen to thirty percent of women in the New River Valley lack access to services for the early detection of breast and cervical cancer. “Early detection reduces death rates, offers treatment options and ultimately can increase survival rates and improve the quality of life for women who are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer,” said Molly O’Dell, MD, director of the New River Health District. “The Virginia Department of Health’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program provides vital resources to help women minimize the risks associated with these illnesses.”

The New River Health District, which serves individuals in Floyd, Giles, Montgomery and Pulaski counties and the City of Radford, encourages all women to learn more about breast health, cancer prevention and to take advantage of the free screening programs listed below, available through local health departments:

  • Every Woman’s Life provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings to low income, uninsured and under insured women age 40 to 64. This program is provided by the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Family Health Services; and
  • Komen Breast Health provides free breast screenings to eligible women age 18 to 40. This program is offered through a Carilion Clinic grant awarded by the Greater Roanoke Valley Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, an initiative of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

“It is important for women to understand the risk factors associated with breast cancer, and when possible to reduce those risks,” said Ruth Wolford, MSN, RN, nurse manager for the New River Health District. “For example, some risk factors such as poor nutrition are avoidable, while others such as family history are not. No matter what risk factors a woman may have, screening and early detection are essential tools in fighting this disease.”

In recent years the United States has made great strides in the prevention, early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Still, far too many women and their families are affected by this disease. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that more than 230,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U. S. by the end of 2011. NCI also estimates that nearly 40,000 women in our country will lose the battle with breast cancer this year.

To make an appointment or to check on eligibility for a free screening, please call your local health department:

  • Floyd County Health Department, Floyd, 540-745-2141;
  • Giles County Health Department, Pearisburg, 540-921-2891;
  • Montgomery County Health Department, Christiansburg, 540-381-7100;
  • Pulaski County Health Department, Pulaski, 540-994-5030; or
  • Radford City Health Department, Radford, 540-831-5774.

For more information, visit

Last Updated: 11-08-2011

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