Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP)
BCCCP offers no-cost breast and cervical cancer screening for women ages 40-64 who meet certain income and insurance requirements. This program provides safe and thorough exams as well as follow-up care, if needed. The detailed services under this program include
- Clinical breast exams
- Pelvic exams
- Pap smears
- Some diagnostic tests, if needed
- If needed, treatment services will be available to women enrolled in the program regardless of their ability to pay
Please check out the following to learn more about the program:
Cervical Cancer Facts
- Cervical cancer is one of the most common and curable types of cancer found in women worldwide.
- In 2009 there were 11,270 cases and 2,070 deaths from Cervical Cancer
- HPV Invection is the leading cause of cervical cancer
- Women are at risk for cervical cancer if they:
- have ever been sexually active
- have never had a Pap test, or have not had one in many years
- are infected with Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- are smokers -are over 65 years of age
- began sexual relations at a young age
- If detected at an early stage, cervical cancer is very curable.
- The average age of a woman diagnosed with cervical cancer is between 50 and 55 years.
Screening guidelines for early detection of cervical cancer and precancer
- Screening should begin about 3 years after a woman begins vaginal intercourse, but no later than at 21 years of age.
- Screening should be done every year with a Pap test.
- Beginning at age 30, women with three normal test results in a row may get screened every 2 to 3 years (unless they have other medical conditions that may make it more likely that they will develop cervical cancer).
- Women 70 years of age and older who have had 3 or more normal Pap tests in a row and no abnormal Pap tests in the last 10 years may choose to stop cervical cancer screening.
- Screening after a total hysterectomy (removal of the uterus AND cervix) is not necessary unless the woman has had cervical cancer or precancer before. Women who have had a hysterectomy without removal of the cervix should continue cervical cancer screening until at least age 70.
Breast Cancer Facts
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer that women face in their lifetime (excluding skin cancer).
- It can occur at any age, but it is more likely to occur after age 40.
- The biggest risk factor for breast cancer is being a woman, but other risk factors include:
- Women with relatives (mothers or sisters) who had breast cancer
- Women who have never had children
- Women who had their first child after age 30
- Older women
- Mammography is the best way to detect breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage – an average of 1-3 years before a woman can feel the lump. Mammography also locates cancers too small to be felt during a clinical breast exam.
- From ages 40-49, having a mammogram may reduce your risk of dying from breast cancer by 17%. From ages 50-74, having a mammogram may reduce your risk of dying from breast cancer by 30%.
Screening guidelines for early detection of breast cancer
- * Women should have a yearly mammogram, beginning at age 40.
- * Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam at least every three years, and women over 40 should have one every year.
- * Beginning in their early 20s, women should do breast self-exams every month and should report any breast change to their doctors immediately.
- * Women at increased risk for breast cancer (women with a family history of breast cancer, a genetic tendency towards breast cancer and women who have already had breast cancer, etc.) should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of starting screening earlier, or having additional tests, such as breast ultrasounds or MRI’s.
Eight Tips for Good Mammograms
- Ask to see the FDA certificate that is issued to all facilities that meet high standards of safety and quality.
- Use a facility that either specializes in mammography or performs many mammograms a day.
- If you are satisfied that the facility is of high quality, continue to go there on a regular basis so that your mammograms can be compared from year to year.
- If you change facilities, ask for your old mammograms to bring with you to the new facility so that they can be compared to the new ones.
- If you have sensitive breasts, try having your mammogram at a time of the month when your breasts will be least tender. Try to avoid the week right before your period. This will help to lessen discomfort.
- Don’t wear deodorant, powder or cream under your arms – it may interfere with the quality of the mammogram.
- Bring a list of the places and dates of mammograms, biopsies, or other breast treatments you have had before.
- If you do not hear from your physician within 10 days, do not assume that your mammogram was normal – confirm this by calling your physician or the facility.
How to do a Breast Self-Exam?
Click HERE to read the detail.