Health department offers free cancer screening

MECOSTA COUNTY – Preventative care is a key part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. District Health Department No. 10 is providing free cancer screenings to help area residents preserve their health.

Women ages 40 to 64, with limited insurance and income, are eligible for a breast exam, mammogram and pelvic exam at the health department. Women and men ages 50 to 64, with limited insurance and income, are eligible for a colorectal cancer screening. Screenings take place at the health department’s clinics, with locations in each of the 10 counties the department serves; residents of Osceola County also can take advantage of the Mecosta County resources.

“The new health care reform emphasizes prevention,” said Dr. James Wilson, medical director of District Health Department No. 10. “There’s the adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

A grant from the Center for Disease Control funds the screenings. Last year, 2,100 women took advantage of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program screenings offered by District Health Department No. 10. Another 450 people were screened for colorectal cancer.

Those interested in the screenings can call their local health department and speak to an enrollment specialist who will determine if they are eligible and help them set up an appointment.

In addition to regular cancer screenings as people age, Wilson recommended an annual physical, necessary immunizations, proper diet and regular exercise as other means to maintaining good health. Health care has become more expensive over the years, he said, as people live longer and need more treatment for chronic conditions.

“If you can actually prevent, or at least control, those chronic diseases, it will be less expensive and your life will be happier,” Wilson said.

For more information, visit

District Health Department No. 10 locations

  • Lake County (231) 745-4663
  • Manistee County (231) 723-3595
  • Mecosta County (231) 592-0130
  • Newaygo County (231) 689-7300