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Grants go toward Northside cancer services
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Forsyth County News

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* For more information about the Colorectal Cancer Transportation Assistance Program, call (404) 300-2800; for more about services through Komen Atlanta grant, call (770) 667-4400.

* For more information about either program or any of Northside’s cancer treatment programs, go to

CUMMING — Northside Hospital has received two recent grants to help cancer patients.

Through a grant from the Colon Cancer Alliance and the organization’s Undy 5000 5K run/walk series, Northside is able to continue offering resources to assist colon cancer patients with transportation.

In addition, the hospital has been awarded a grant from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Atlanta affiliate to provide mammograms and other breast diagnostic procedures for women who can’t afford them.

Through Northside’s Colorectal Cancer Transportation Assistance Program, patients can receive gas cards or taxi vouchers to assist with one-way or round-trip transportation to cancer-related needs such as doctor’s visits, medication refills and colorectal cancer treatments.

The grant from the Colon Cancer Alliance allowed Northside to assist almost 80 patients in 2013.

Betty McGinty, director of Northside’s Advanced Center for Gastrointestinal Therapeutics, said colon cancer is one of the top five cancers diagnosed at Northside.

The grant funding is important in helping people be properly treated, she said in a statement.

“Increasing access to colorectal cancer screening and treatment for our patients is a primary goal of our Cancer Institute,” she said. “We are very appreciative of the Colon Cancer Alliance and the Undy 5000 for once again supporting our program.”

Likewise, the Komen grant funding will be used to help detect breast cancer early on.

“More cases of breast cancer are treated at Northside Hospital than at any other community hospital in the Southeast,” said Patti Owen, director of oncology services, in a statement.

“Early detection saves the lives of thousands of women each year. Through generous community support from groups like Komen Atlanta, Northside is able to increase the early detection of breast cancer by educating and screening more women.”

The nearly $150,000 given to Northside in 2014 will go toward helping qualified applicants receive screening mammograms and breast diagnostic services, including mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies.

This is the 12th year that Northside has received grant money from Komen Atlanta, with funds totaling more than $846,000.

In 2013, more than 690 women were served by Northside’s grant-supported programs. Breast cancer was detected in three women, who otherwise may have gone undiagnosed.

To be eligible for free mammograms through the program, applicants must qualify for financial assistance and live in one of nine counties, including Forsyth, Cherokee, Fulton or Gwinnett, among others.

They also must be at least 35 years old, meet certain income level requirements, have no health insurance and provide a written order from a physician.

The colon cancer assistance is available to patients who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer or who are seeking colorectal cancer screenings. Anyone, regardless of insurance status, is eligible.

For colonoscopy appointments, patients must be accompanied by an adult, 18 years or older.

Funding can be used for transportation to and from any of Northside’s facilities and will be available until resources are exhausted.