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May 15, 2012

Fundraiser benefits women's cancer screenings

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A benefit oyster roast conducted by Aiken Regional Medical Centers has raised $3,000 for breast and cervical cancer screenings, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

"This money goes directly to the Best Chance Network (BCN), a health screening service for women," said Dianna Lydiard, Ph.D. and DHEC's program director for BCN. "We'll be able to provide screenings for an additional 13 women in Aiken County starting in August, thanks to this donation.

"South Carolina ranks 15th in the nation for breast cancer deaths and 8th in the nation for cervical cancer deaths," Lydiard said. "Since the inception of the BCN in South Carolina in 1991, our provider network has screened more than 90,000 women and diagnosed thousands of breast and cervical abnormalities. Along with screenings and treatment, we've provided education, data tracking, disease monitoring and case management services for qualified women to help them live longer, healthier lives."

"When we were made aware of the high numbers of women's cancer cases in South Carolina, we immediately realized where the money was most needed," said Brittni Everhardt, communications specialist for ARMC. "We hosted the oyster roast and silent auction on the grounds of Rose Hill Estate in downtown Aiken and drew tremendous support from our community."

According to Lydiard, BCN is funded annually by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for women's cancer screenings and follow-up services. In 1995, DHEC entered a partnership with the South-Atlantic Division of the American Cancer Society to coordinate services with providers, as well as offer professional development, patient outreach and recruitment. To be eligible for participation in the BCN in South Carolina, women must be between the ages of 47 and 64, have no insurance and be 200 percent below the poverty level. Additional information about the Best Chance Network can be found on the DHEC website.


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Jim Beasley - (803) 898-7769
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