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Kinney's to offer free cancer screenings to uninsured

In tough economic times, many people are forced to let important things go by the wayside.

For many who have lost their health insurance, those important things may include life-saving cancer screenings.

In order to address that need, Kinney Drugs has joined with local Cancer Services Program partnerships to offer free cancer screenings to the uninsured.

"The goal is to increase awareness of the free cancer screenings available to men and women who meet criteria set forth by the Cancer Service Program," said Penny Perrone-Gray, marketing manager for Kinney Drugs. "We want the people in our communities to know how important it is to be screened for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer and to understand how early detection can save lives."

Age-appropriate breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening is available for eligible men and women. Partnership staff will be on site at 44 Kinney Drug store locations the week of March 2 to discuss how to get a free screening.

The program screens for some of the most common types of cancer among residents of New York state, Perrone-Gray said. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer among women in the state of New York, excluding skin cancers, and it's the second leading cause of cancer-related death for women in the state. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers among New Yorkers; more than 3,800 men and women die of colorectal cancer each year, making it the third leading cause of cancer-related death in men and women in the state. Cervical cancer affects fewer women in NYS, with nearly 1,000 cases diagnosed, on average, each year. All three types are highly treatable when found early. In fact, screening tests can prevent colorectal cancer by finding polyps that can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early, when the chance of being cured is very good.

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