You’ve heard it before, “You can’t pour from an empty cup; take care of yourself first.” Before the hustle and bustle of the happiest time of the year begins, schedule your mammogram and pap screening. Take care of yourself.
All women are at risk for breast cancer.
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women age 40 to 49 who are asymptomatic have the choice to begin breast cancer screenings when they choose. Women age 50 to 74 are recommended to get a mammogram every two years.
All women with a personal or family history of breast cancer have a higher risk of breast cancer and should consider getting a mammogram more frequently than every two years. This also includes women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation or have had radiation therapy to the chest.
Regardless of age or history, all women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to a health care provider right away.
Cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
According to updated guidelines from the USPSTF, women ages 21 through 29 should be screened with a Pap test every 3 years. Women ages 30 through 65 can then be screened every 5 years with Pap and HPV co-testing or every 3 years with a Pap test alone.
The HPV vaccine is recommended for preteen boys and girls at age 11 or 12 so they are protected before ever being exposed to the cancer-causing virus. Young women can get the HPV vaccine through age 26, and young men can get vaccinated through age 21.
Mammogram and Pap screenings are important.
If found early, nearly all breast and cervical cancers can be treated successfully. In Ohio, most women have insurance coverage and these screenings are covered at no cost. For women without insurance, The Ohio Department of Health Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP) may be able to help them receive these lifesaving screenings.
BCCP offers free Patient Navigation to all women.
BCCP – Central Region is a local program and offers free Patient Navigation to all women in Ashland, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, Richland and Union counties.
BCCP’s Patient Navigation Program helps guide women through the healthcare system, find providers and community resources, and answer questions about scheduling appointments, using insurance, and more. In addition, the BCCP – Central Region program offers no-cost breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic testing to qualified participants.
About the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP).
The NBCCEDP was created in 1990 and is administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 1994, the Ohio Department of Health began facilitating regionally based BCCP offices. The Licking County Health Department currently houses the BCCP – Central Region office and coordinates services to women in Ashland, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, Richland and Union counties. BCCP is a Federal Program and is operated through federal funds and State of Ohio funds.
When to call BCCP – Central Region at (866) 418-4963.
Now! BCCP – Central Region is available to help answer questions about mammograms and pap screenings and will guide you in making an appointment. Mobile mammography units are often scheduled throughout the year to come to your area for convenience.
No-cost breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic testing is available to qualified participants.
The guidelines for eligibility for free screenings are as follows:
• Low income (live in households with incomes equal to or less than 2 times [200 percent of] the poverty level),
• Do not have health insurance, and
• Are 40 years of age or older to receive Pap tests and clinical breast exams, or
• Are 50 years of age or older to receive mammograms (women age 40 to 49 years can also receive a mammogram if indicated by a clinical breast exam, family history or other factors).
Regardless of income, BCCP – Central Region is able to guide and help all women who are in need of scheduling a mammogram and pap screening. Call (866) 418-4963 to talk with one of our Patient Navigators.