By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure will be taking off this weekend in Bricktown.

The event raises awareness about breast cancer and, in Oklahoma there are resources to help those who need an exam for free.

Patti Matney goes once a year for what she calls her "health woman checkup."

"I was so anxious I could barely breathe and so I'm religious about having my breast exam and mammogram every year," Matney said.

It all started with what doctors found years ago.

"My doctor discovered a small lump on my right breast and was a long time ago when they couldn't tell you immediately, so I had to worry for an entire weekend and worry I may have cancer," Matney said.

It's a worry that affects thousands of women across the country. In the metro, out of the 3,000 women who visited the OU Health Science Center last year, 19 were diagnosed with breast cancer.

"That is a great deal of number we caught it early so these women were able to be treated," Jennifer Stammer, Registered Nurse at OU Health Sciences Center, said.

Thanks to the Take Charge! program that helps uninsured, low-income women with cervical and breast cancer screenings for free and Medicaid will pay for more testing if needed.

"It's not a death sentence, we screen the women, if necessary we'll get them additional testing, from there we can get them an ultrasound, a biopsy which would enable the doctor to diagnose whether it's a cancer or not," Stammer said. "Fortunately, Matney didn't have cancer, but she's pushing to help those around her at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, for nearly 20 years now."

Learn more about free breast and cervical cancer screenings for uninsured and low income families:

Contact:

OU Health Sciences Center

Jennifer Stammer

Take Charge! Program

College of Nursing

405/271-2428 Ext. 49230