Network Aims To Reduce Appalachian Cancer Rates

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The Appalachia Community Cancer Network is a team of community and academic partners working together to reduce cancer health disparities in the Appalachia region. 

The network is one of 23 such programs across the country funded by the national cancer institute. 
There is a great need for such programs in the Appalachian region, says Darla Fickle, ACCN program director.
"There are elevated rates of cancer incidents and mortalities in cervical, colon, and lung cancer," said Fickle. "There's also an increase for breast cancer diagnosed at a later stage primarily because routine mammograms are not done in this community."
ACCN has implemented more than 30 programs during the last five years in order to combat these high numbers, including the Think Pink Project in Meigs.
"It provides breast cancer education and screening to women in Meigs County age 35 and older who don't have access to services," said Fickle.
In six years time, Fickle says the Think Pink program has offered more than 700 mammograms, educated 1,700 women and hosted 20 Women's Health days.
"These Women's Health day events are held in very remote areas of Meigs County and they actually bring in a unit from Ohio University, a mobile unit which provides cervical cancer screening along with clinical breast exams," said Fickle.
A mobile unit from Ohio State University also offers mammography.
The ACCN covers Appalachian regions of Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.