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The Economy and Cancer: Early Detection is Key for Women

September 30, 2009

MANCHESTER, N. H - Neither a tough economy nor a lack of health insurance should stand in the way of New Hampshire women getting their annual medical exams, according to Nancy Mosher, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. All too often, she says, women skip these critical yearly checkups because of finances. The consequences can be dire, both physically and financially, she explains, since early detection is key to fighting many types of cancer.

"It's so much easier on the woman, both physically and economically, to find out sooner rather than later. So, we really encourage efforts to get in and get tested on a routine basis, for both cervical and breast cancer."

In addition to the annual exams, she stresses that women should pay attention to preventive measures. As an example, she says, there is now a vaccine available to prevent the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is associated with the development of some forms of cervical cancer.

"Because of this vaccine, we hope to see a lot less morbidity related to abnormal Pap smears, and also fewer incidents of cervical cancer."

Mosher adds there is financial assistance available for women's basic health care if they lack money or health insurance, in New Hampshire and throughout New England. Planned Parenthood locations offer yearly exams on a sliding-fee scale, and there are also special funds available to women who need referrals or further diagnostic care.
More information can be found online at www.ppnne.org.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - NH