Low-income cancer screening

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An Ohio agency that screens low-income women for cancer just received more funding.

For the first time in its 13 year history, state money will supplement the federal funds the Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP) receives from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Between 1994 and 2006, the BCCP screened 49,558 women for breast cancer and/or cervical cancer. The state’s contribution means an additional 9,000 women a year will receive free breast exams and pap smears.

To be eligible, a woman must meet the following criteria:

•Her household income must be less than 200 percent of the poverty level.  

•She must not have insurance.

•She must be at least 40 years old for a pap test, pelvic exam and clinical breast exam.

•She must be at least 50 years old for a mammogram.

The BCCP needs help identifying women for the program. To recommend a woman for the program or to learn if personally eligible, interested parties should contact the Columbus Women’s Cancer Initiative at 1-866-418-4963.

More than half of women diagnosed with breast cancer are at least 60 years old. The first symptom is most commonly an unusual lump followed by an inverted nipple or rough skin according to the CDC.

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