DOVER -- Union Hospital's annual Cancer Screening Day is Saturday, Oct. 5.

The free event is targeted at women who are uninsured or who otherwise can't afford these important screenings.

Those taking part in the screening event will be offered a clinical breast exam, and if ordered by the doctor, a screening mammogram and a PAP test to screen for cervical cancer.

The cancer screenings, sponsored by Union Hospital, are free of charge.

Appointments are available between 7 and 11 a.m. Call the Union Hospital community relations office at 330-602-0778. Registration deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 2. The screening exams on Oct. 5 will take place at the Union Hospital WorkWell Occupational Medicine Center in the Oxford Medical Building in Dover. Mammograms will be done at the Union Hospital Breast Center.

The Union Hospital Department of Community Health and Wellness is offering this program as part of the fourth annual Paint Tusc Pink breast cancer awareness program during October. Co-sponsors include the Tuscarawas Clinic for the Working Uninsured and the American Cancer Society.

Carey Gardner, UH director of community relations, says the free cancer screening program will help provide more women with the opportunity to detect cancer early when the disease is most curable.

"We believe one of the barriers to early detection is the cost of the screening exams for those without any insurance. Our Cancer Day screenings are provided free of charge," Gardner said. "We target this event to serve those with low incomes or no insurance."

In addition to the cost factor Gardner says one of the reasons for late diagnosis of cancer is many women are not following the screening guidelines of the American Cancer Society to increase the chance for early detection.

"These steps include a regular PAP test, clinical breast exam by a doctor, and a screening mammogram, an x-ray that can help find breast cancer in its earliest stages."

Gardner notes that women who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer or those whose last mammogram within the last 11 months are not eligible to participate at this screening.