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Have You Been Screened?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Have you been screened?

As a self-employed business owner, Cheryl Forgette of Southbury couldn’t always afford annual mammograms due to high co-pays and deductibles associated with her insurance, but deep down she knew she was putting herself at risk. When she found out about a free screening program offered through St. Raphael’s Hospital in New Haven, she felt a sense of relief and began getting mammograms and other screenings on a regular basis. And luckily she did. In 2010, Forgette found a lump in her breast that turned out to be breast cancer.

“If it wasn’t for the free screening program at St. Raphael’s, I don’t know what would have happened to me,” says Forgette. “It gave me the peace of mind of knowing that I could get this taken care of.”

Today, Forgette wants other women to know just how important it is to get regular screenings for breast and cervical cancer.

“One mammogram, one pap smear could save your life,” says Forgette.

In fact, according to the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women in Connecticut. The good news is that death rates from breast cancer have been decreasing over the last 30 years, due in large part to early detection and screening.

In order to raise awareness of and promote the importance of breast and cervical cancer screening, as well as cardiovascular screening, and encourage women ages 40 and older to schedule a screening immediately, the DPH has launched a new educational campaign called Stay in the Game CT.

“Stay In The Game CT is based on the idea that the best defense is a good offense. This idea is true when it comes to sports, and it’s also true when it comes to early detection of breast and cervical cancers and heart disease,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “Through the Stay in the Game CT campaign, we hope to encourage women ages 40 to 64 to get screened for these diseases.”

The campaign website, is a comprehensive source for valuable information about breast and cervical cancer and heart disease that includes information on when to get screened, screening locations and free and low-cost screening programs offered by the state of Connecticut.

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the campaign is re-airing an original CPTV program, Women’s Health: A Live Town Hall Meeting. The 90-minute special focuses on the critical need for women to make time in their busy schedules for check-ups, screenings, and healthy lifestyle choices. It discusses the fact that women must nurture their own health so that they can continue to nurture others. That’s why the slogan of the Stay in the Game CT campaign is “Do it for yourself. Do it for someone you love.”

The program will air on CPTV and CPTV4U on the following dates:

CPTV air dates
Oct. 17 at 10 p.m.
Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.
Oct. 26 at 11 p.m.

CPTV4U air dates
Oct. 19 at 12:30p.m.
Oct. 21 at 7:30 a.m.
Oct. 29 at 6 a.m.

AARP Connecticut State Director, Brenda Kelley, said, “As a breast cancer survivor myself, I know how critically important it is to get regular mammograms and screenings. I also know that as women, we often get so caught up in helping others that we forget to take care of ourselves. That’s why AARP Connecticut is proud to collaborate with DPH to help promote Stay in the Game CT and its life-saving message to our members and the public.”

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