Pennsylvania Department of Health Reminds Women of Important Breast and Cervical Cancer Screenings


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Pennsylvania Department of Health highlights the importance of women getting screened for breast and cervical cancer and the resources available to obtain the earliest possible screening.

The Department of Health says the state has seen many postponement of these exams during COVID-19 and that breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer in women in the state. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death in women.

“Throughout this month, we are wearing pink to draw attention to breast cancer awareness and honor those who have battled breast cancer,” said Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam. “Pink should remind us that we are not alone and that there is support and programs available to make sure you have access to the screenings.”

In Pennsylvania, it has been shown that white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African American women, but African American women are more likely to die.

Although cervical cancer is not as common, it has a lower survival rate. The state says black women are more likely to develop and die from it than white women.

To provide early detection and prevention, the US Task Force on Preventive Services recommends that women under 40 be screened if they have symptoms or are at high risk, that women 40 to 49 be screened all every two years if necessary and that women over 50 be screened every two years.

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The Pennsylvania Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (PA-BCCEDP) is a free early detection program funded by the Department of Health through a grant from the CDC. This program provides free services to people living in low-income or uninsured households. These services include mammograms, MRIs, Pap and HPV tests, and follow-up diagnostic appointments.

PA-BCCEDP has been able to help nearly 100,000 women and diagnosed over 4,800 women with breast and cervical cancer since 1994. During this exercise, the program detected cervical cancer. uterus and breast in 113 of the nearly 7,000 people in the program. .

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Pa. Breast Cancer Coalition hosted an event to turn the Capitol Fountain into pink. And the Pa. Commission for Women hosted a virtual event with Acting Secretary Beam and Acting General Surgeon Dr. Denise Johnson to provide education on early detection and PA-BCCEDP.

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