Runners raise money to fund mammograms

Women are told to get a mammogram every year, but for those with little or no health insurance, the $300 cost for just one test is too high.

Again this year the Susan G. Komen Mid-Missouri affiliate is granting money to help low income women with mammograms and other tests.

The bulk of the funding comes from the annual Race for the Cure, planned for September 16th, 2012.

The local goal this year is $400,000.

75% of the money raised will stay in the organization's 16 counties to fund local programs like ones at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. The other 25% is sent to the national organization to be given in grants for research.

A $50,000 grant to Ellis Fischel will help some 200 women get mammograms and other diagnostic tests. Women ages 40-49 who are under-insured or uninsured can apply for a free mammogram.

"A lot of women in that age group we see haven't had one in many years because they can't afford it," said cancer screening nurse Sue Sinele.

The money also funds additional tests, like ultrasounds, for women whose doctors find a problem in a clinical breast exam.

The Komen group lists all local grants on it's website.

Organizers of the local race are also responding to questions about the national organization's decision last year not to grant Planned Parenthood money. The group later changed course, but the local affiliate still gets questions.

Mid-Missouri Komen race chair Lauren Milbach said that the local affiliate has never received a grant request from Planned Parenthood and thus has not ever granted money to the group. But, she says they would be considered if their plans for a grant specifically target women's breast health services.