In October of 2018, the Oswego County Cancer Services Program became The North Country Cancer Services Program. Our program now is covering the region of Oswego, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties. If you were a client of Oswego County Cancer Services, you will still be able to contact our office in Fulton at 315-592-0830. To schedule your screenings or speak with the offices in the other counties listen for the prompts for the appropriate office and you will be connected!
So much of what the Cancer Services Program does, relies on funding from a grant provided by the New York State Department of Health, and private donations. In 2018, the community was very generous and we are so very grateful for the support.
Some of our CSP Success Stories!
When Betty was 19 she felt a lump in her breast. She was relieved when the results came back benign. Twenty eight years later however when she felt a lump in the same area, she knew what it was. “I was scared. I noticed that my sense of taste had changed. Certain foods that I liked and aromas that I enjoyed were now making me nauseous. I had a strong feeling that this time it was cancer,” explained Betty.
Employed, but with no health insurance, she was uncertain as to what to do next. “I knew that without insurance there was no way my husband and I could afford treatment. I called the American Cancer Society and they suggested I contact the Oswego County Opportunities (OCO) Cancer Services Program. I had heard of the program but was not aware of all the services it offered. When I called and spoke with Carolyn Handville it was encouraging. She made me feel at ease and walked me through the whole process,” said Betty.
Handville, coordinator of the OCO Cancer Services Program, went into action immediately. During the initial phone call she was able to schedule a mammogram and an ultrasound. “Based on the results of those screenings we recommended that Betty have a biopsy. I put her in touch with one of our breast surgeons, Dr. Dawn Holman, who discussed with Betty the recommendations and the necessary procedures to follow. When Betty was informed that the biopsy confirmed cancer I immediately contacted her to let her know that the Cancer Services Program would be covering all of her medical costs up to the diagnosis,” said Handville.
Once diagnosed, Handville was able to enroll Betty into the Medicaid Cancer Treatment program. “It’s a wonderful program,” said Handville. “There are no income guidelines. The only criteria for eligibility is that you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are in need of treatment. It takes approximately 5 to 7 days to obtain a determination for the Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program and in the meantime doctors make the necessary oncology appointments; it moves much faster than most insurances.”
While Betty had been in remission for more than a year, cancer returned a few months ago and she is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments that are being covered through Medicaid Cancer Treatment program that Handville enrolled her in. Thanks in part to the continued support of OCO’s Cancer Services Program, Betty maintains a positive outlook.
Betty said, “From the moment I met Carolyn she has been a cheerleader for me. No matter what the problem is, I know I can count on her for strength and support. I don’t know what I would have done without the Cancer Services Program. Don’t wait until you think something is wrong. Thanks to the free screenings and help that I received from Carolyn I’m a survivor and a fighter!”
"If it weren't for this program, I'd be dead." That's what 39-year-old Cindy Jennings says whenever she talks about her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Cindy is a client whose life was saved thanks to early detection and treatment for breast cancer. "My sister died at age 38 of breast cancer. I was diagnosed in November 2011...at age 38. I was pretty freaked out and needed help."
Cindy's health insurance was ending so she contacted OCO's Cancer Services Program. "Carolyn was wonderful," she says. "She helped me get covered to bridge the gap."
Cindy had surgery in February 2012. Due to her family history she chose to undergo a double mastectomy. She's doing well, and she wants to reach out to other women who may not have health insurance.
"This program is awesome. The staff are the best. They give 120% every time." Carolyn called to check up on Cindy several times during her diagnosis and treatment. "She called because she cared about me," she said.
Cindy has moved out of Oswego County since her surgery, but she made sure she was on hand for the 2nd annual Human Pink Ribbon celebration Oct. 29 at the Central Square Walmart. "I want to encourage all women to get their screenings. Don't let lack of insurance stop you. The girls at OCO can help. It can save your life," she said.
Thanks to our funding sources and the support of donors and sponsors like you, OCO is able to provide free screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer to eligible women and men in Oswego County.
For information on OCO’s Cancer Services Program and the free screenings that are available through the program contact Carolyn Handville at 315-592-0830 or visit www.oco.org.
Have you had cancer treatment? Click here for more information.