County Health Department Offers Cancer Education and Early Detection Program

ron-riosBy Ronald G. Rios

Through its various departments, Middlesex County offers a wide range of programs and services to the more than 780,000 residents that live here.

As Freeholder Chair of the County’s Public Health and Education Committee, I plan to explore, through a monthly column, the many offerings of the Middlesex County Public Health Department. It is my hope that by doing so, you, our residents, will be better informed about the opportunities available and the ways we can work together to improve our individual and collective health.

This month, I’d like to discuss our very active Cancer Education and Early Detection (CEED) program. The primary focus of the CEED program is to provide FREE cancer screenings to women and men who are uninsured or underinsured.

County residents, who meet New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services income guidelines, are eligible to be screened for breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancers.

The CEED program, which is paid for through federal and state funds, also provides outreach, education, case management, tracking, follow-up and facilitation into treatment for its clients.

The Middlesex County Public Health Department is the lead agency in the county for the administration of this program.

Middlesex County was one of the initial five counties in New Jersey to receive a block grant to establish a CEED program in 1993. Since then, more than 11,000 individuals have attended the program.

The CEED screening services available include:

• Breast cancer screening for eligible women and men 40 years of age and older

• Cervical cancer screening for eligible women age 18 and older

• Colorectal cancer screening for women and men age 50 and over. Clients under the age of 50 may be screened if they are considered high-risk due to a personal or family history.

• Prostate cancer screening for men 50 and older or high-risk men age 45 and older

To find out if you are eligible for free cancer screenings through the CEED program, contact the Middlesex County Public Health Department at (732) 745-3127 (English) or (732) 745-3107 (en Español ).

Make preventative screenings part of your health routine. Early detection can save lives.

Middlesex County Freeholder Ron Rios is the chairperson of the Middlesex County Committee of Public Health and Education.

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