Thanks to a program from the HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology, cancer screening has become far more available throughout the state.
In fact, since the Information is Power initiative began, 6,200 Alabamians have been screened for cancer and over 200 were identified as having an increased risk of cancer. They were then referred to preventive measures and also increased screening.
The program is funded by philanthropic organizations around the state, including the Alabama Power Foundation, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama, the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville and the Russel Hill Cancer Foundation.
The test uses a cheek swab, which helps to identify DNA changes in 28 genes that can increase the risk for breast, ovarian, colon, prostate, and pancreatic cancers.
The screening is free or a reduced cost throughout the state.
The test is also offered at a reduced rate of $129 for those 19 and older in Madison, Limestone, Jackson, Marshall and Morgan counties and is free to those 28-30 years old.
“The Alabama Power Foundation understands the importance of this initiative and how it helps individuals and their families be proactive about their healthcare,” said Staci Brown Brooks, foundation president. “We are proud to support HudsonAlpha and their efforts to bring cancer awareness to communities across the state.”
For those who don’t qualify for free or reduced-price, the Information Is Power screening test is available for $225.
The Information is Power initiative is currently growing its presence to communities who may have limited cancer screening options.
Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.