OPINION

Health and Wellness: Take time to care for yourself

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department
Special to Dallas County News and Perry Chief

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, other diseases continue to threaten our health. More than 360 residents of Dallas County were diagnosed with cancer in 2020, according to the University of Iowa College of Public Health. The good news is that nearly 40% of Iowans treated for cancer have survived.  

The key to surviving cancer is identifying it as early as possible and then choosing an appropriate treatment. As we age, we are more likely to develop cancer, which is why women on Medicare Part B may have a screening mammogram every 12 months and a pelvic exam with pap test every 24 months. Breast and cervical cancer can be survived if treated.  

A scary position to be in is being diagnosed with cancer and having no insurance coverage for treatment. Both men and women in Iowa who are at or below 250% of the federal poverty line qualify for free breast cancer treatment (and women for cervical cancer treatment). This is funded by Medicaid’s Care For Yourself program. See idph.iowa.gov/cfy.  

Contact Dallas County Health Navigation at phn@dallascountyiowa.gov or 515-993-3750 to apply for Care For Yourself. The navigators can also help you with other concerns during your treatment.