COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Preventative healthcare has been put on hold during the pandemic, and health officials nationally and locally say annual cancer screenings have decreased drastically during the past year and a half.

Prostate Cancer Awareness month concludes at the end of September and as we enter breast cancer awareness month, healthcare professionals say you should not let fear or the pandemic prevent you from getting your yearly cancer screenings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Healthcare professionals say the key to success when dealing with cancer is education, prevention, and early detection.

News 3 spoke with the President and CEO of the West Central Georgia Cancer Coalition, Cheryl Johnson, and she says education, prevention, and early detection are key. The nonprofit organization provides free cancer screenings for people who are uninsured or under-insured. They cover 13 counties across Georgia and Alabama including Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, Meriwether, Muscogee, Schley, Stewart, Talbot, Taylor, Troup, Webster, Lee, and Russell County.

Johnson says many people fear being diagnosed with what some call, the big C, Cancer. But Johnson says the medical community becomes more knowledgeable each day.

She urges people to stop putting their yearly screenings on the backburner and to make it a priority. Healthcare professionals recommend picking an anniversary, a child’s birthday, or a significant event to help remind you it’s time for your yearly screening.

More information on breast cancer education says education, prevention, and early detection here are some useful links recommended by healthcare professionals.


The West Central Georgia Cancer Coalition holds a clinic on the last Tuesday of each month in Muscogee County at the John B. Amos Cancer Center and the last Thursday of each month in Webster County at Preston Family Medicine, to get your free screenings.