Tag Archives: breast cancer

Lawmakers say first responder health fund should cover breast cancer

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Some Democrats in the Legislature say a state health care fund for firefighters and other first responders should cover breast cancer treatments.

State Senator Curtis Hertel (East Lansing) says firefighters are commonly exposed to benzene and other chemicals linked to breast cancer. He says it’s only fair that breast cancer is covered by the first responders fund.

“Those that protect us should always be protected,” he said.

Detroit Senior Firefighter Elizabeth Szmrecsanyi says women in her profession are three times more likely than the average woman to develop breast cancer.

“We put our lives on the line, just like our brethren do in the fire department,” she said, “and I don’t see why females – why our parts shouldn’t be covered just as the gentlemen already are.”

Unions for police, firefighters and other first responders support the expansion.

Hertel says policymakers were slow to recognize the risk to female firefighters, in part, because there are so many more men in the profession. But he says new studies show the dangers to female first responders.

“Some of it’s just common sense,” he said. “We know that dangerous chemicals like benzene lead to breast cancer, and that’s what people in a fire are fighting. So, oftentimes, people are going to have exposure and we should make sure they’re protected.”

Michigan’s first responder health care fund already covers 10 types of cancer – including prostate and testicular cancer. It was created in 2014, but it wasn’t funded by the Legislature until this year.

New license plate to support breast cancer screening

Photo courtesy of the Michigan Secretary of State.

Photo courtesy of the Michigan Secretary of State.


October is traditionally consumed with pumpkins, costumes and candy, but lately, the month has also flowered with pink for breast cancer awareness month.

For the first time ever, Michigan is launching a “pink ribbon” license plate for drivers. It’s a partnership between the Michigan Secretary of State and Department of Community Health.

Angela Minicuci is a spokeswoman for the state health department, and she said money collected from the plates will go toward the department’s breast cancer screening services program.

“And what that does, is not only provides screenings, but also helps with follow up care, which includes cancer treatment,” she said. “Reaching women just to get them in for screening only a portion of what this program does.”

Minicuci says $25 will go toward the program when the plate is first purchased, and another $10 each time it’s renewed.

In addition to the pink ribbon on the left of the plate, there is a message at the bottom that reads, “Early Detection Saves Lives.”

The “pink ribbon” license plate is available now and will be throughout the year.

Bra decorating, chocolate and wine for women’s health services

Mid Michigan Health Courtesy photo.

Mid Michigan Health Courtesy photo.

Mark your calendars if you want an afternoon filled with wine, chocolate and bras.

MidMichigan Health is teaming up with businesses in Clare County to host “Bras for a Cause”. It’s an event raising money for women’s health care services.

Millie Jezior is with Mid Michigan Health. She said people can decorate bras for auction and the money goes towards breast cancer prevention. Continue reading