Delaware continues fight to reduce cancer through screenings

Delaware leaders support good health screenings in the community despite residents’ economic status.  They want to make sure everyone knows what is available.

Uninsured and under-insured Delawareans are able to take advantage of resources to keep them aware of silent killers such as cancer. Delaware’s Screening for Life and Community Healthcare Access Program (CHAP) are great examples of such work and have helped the state to become a national leader in cancer control efforts.

On Tuesday, Rep. John Carney, D-Del., and state leaders celebrated the programs at the Claymont Community Center because they not only offer free cancer screenings and treatment but they have helped to eliminate the disparity in colorectal cancer screenings rates between Whites and African-Americans.

“Since the Screening for Life Program started in 1997, we’ve done 38,000 breast screenings in Delaware, we’ve done more than 34,000 cervical screenings and we’ve done 3,800 colonoscopies,” said Rita Landgarf of the Delaware Dept. of Health and Social Services.

There’s no price in having peace of mind, if there is anything you can do to prevent any horrible disease then you have to do it,” said Cruz Villasana, who says colorectal cancer hits close to home.

Cruz’s father was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and died last year from the disease.

“It’s a real serious illness and if you can prevent it, then go ahead before it finds you; you are doing a great service to yourself because there’s no reason to have a life cut short,” added Cruz who gets checked by doctors once a year.

Delaware’s “big four” cancers are breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer and thanks to the screenings, health officials says hundreds of these cancers are prevented each year.

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