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Free screening saved woman's life

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)- Cancer is a very scary disease and early detection is the first line of defense.

To help out, the Northeast Louisiana Cancer Institute teams up with the University Health Conway every year to provide free pap smears and breast.

Any woman is able to take advantage of this service, even if they have insurance and about 300 of them come out every year.

In January 2012, Amanda Crow didn't have any insurance and her sister urged her to go. The doctors found a lump.

"You don't have insurance and you can't afford to go to the doctor. And she kept pushing me and pushing me, saying you really need to go, you really need to go. I made us an appointment, if I have to drive to your house and come and get you," Crow said.    

Crow was officially diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer 0in February of 2012. She underwent radiation and treatment for several months. The cancer was so aggressive, she was required to take medicine for a year after the lump was removed and the radiation treatments stopped. Crow was officially declared cancer free in August of 2013.

Donna Nolan with the Louisiana Cancer Foundation said they offer this service to save lives.

"No woman should get cervical cancer and a pap smear can detect that. A lot of woman may not be doing their breast exam and a clinic breast exam; a mass may be felt. And it's just important that women have a yearly screening," Nolan said.

And Crow could not be more thankful for this service. Even though she now has insurance, she comes back every year. She encourages her children, boys and girls, and other family members to get an exam.

"It's life changing. For me it was life changing, life-saving. It gave me my life back," Crow said.    

Stephanie Rivers with University Health Conway says if their services can just detect cancer early in one person the mission is worthwhile.

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