Cancer hot line set up to assist Md. callers

April 06, 1993|By Daniel M. Amdur | Daniel M. Amdur,Contributing Writer

Maryland residents now have a new way to get information about breast and smoking-related cancers that's only a phone call away.

A toll-free hot line has been established by the Maryland Cancer Control Program as part of a three-year campaign to reduce the state's cancer mortality rate.

The hot line -- 1 (800) 477-9774 -- operates from noon to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and provides up-to-date information on breast and cervical cancer screening, the effects of secondhand smoke and other smoking-related issues.

Callers can also find out about early detection programs in the area as well as the location of hospitals and health organizations offering low-cost mammograms or programs to help smokers quit.

"It's a key point for referral," said state Health Secretary Nelson J. Sabatini. "Early diagnosis is absolutely critical, so you want to have a place where people can call to find services in their area."

Maryland leads the nation in the overall cancer mortality rate, he noted, and part of the group's goal is to move the state out of the top 10 by the end of the program.

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