By purchasing a special license plate, Georgians can help low-income women obtain breast cancer services and treatment.
For each breast cancer awareness tag purchased or renewed, a Georgia program contributes $22 into a fund that pays for cancer screenings, education and treatment for thousands of uninsured women.
“We’re trying to get the message out: If you buy the tag, you’re helping indigent women in Georgia,’’ said Angie Patterson, Georgia CORE vice president, who is herself a breast cancer survivor.
An estimated 1,200 Georgia women die from breast cancer each year. About 7,000 women in Georgia are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
The breast cancer tag program began in 2003. Last year, $1.1 million in grants went to 16 organizations and helped perform 3,289 screenings/mammograms, 2,131 clinical breast exams, 385 ultrasounds, 128 biopsies, and education and training for 15,231 medical providers in more than 60 counties in Georgia.
Six other states have breast cancer license tag programs, Patterson said.
Cutting down the waiting lists
CORE recently announced that Central Georgia Cancer Coalition and Meadows Regional Medical Center in Vidalia won grants of about $100,000 each for treatment programs.
Additional winners were Athens Regional Foundation, Center for Black Women’s Wellness, Center for Pan Asian Community Services, East Georgia Cancer Coalition, Gwinnett Medical Center, Hearts & Hands Clinic, Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, and Susan G. Komen’s Atlanta affiliate. Each won grants of about $50,000 for education programs.
“We congratulate the winners and look forward to seeing the impact of all the work that will come out of their awards, particularly in providing services to those Georgians that need it most,” said Georgia CORE President Nancy Paris.
Patterson added that $48,000 went to the Georgia Department of Public Health for its breast and cervical cancer prevention program.
“This is incredibly good news since many of these women are on waiting lists for mammograms, and the state has not been able to increase funding’’ for that program, she said.
Starting this year, supplemental funds from the license tag program have gone to administer genetic testing for those considered at risk of breast or cervical cancer. Twenty women have been tested thus far with these funds.
To find out how to purchase a breast cancer awareness license tag, please visit the Georgia Department of Revenue website or visit your local county tag office.