Get regular breast and cervical cancer screenings

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is reminding Michiganders to stay up to date on cervical and breast cancer screenings. Each year, breast cancer causes approximately 40,000 deaths among people in the U.S., and in 2024 it is estimated that 9,410 Michigan residents will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 1,350 Michiganders will die from breast cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths due to breast cancer have decreased over time, yet some groups experience more deaths than others because of barriers and lack of resources. Examples of barriers include social isolation, job loss, lack of reliable transportation, insecurity around food or housing and cost to access health care. Cost to access health care is one of the biggest challenges. Early detection through regular breast cancer screening can dramatically increase survival rates. Catching breast cancer at its earliest stage has a nearly 99% survival rate.

It’s important for Michiganders to participate in routine health care and that includes age and risk-appropriate pap smears and mammograms,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive. “Please talk to your health care provider to discuss your family history, and personal risks, which determine the type and frequency of health screening exam recommended.”

Those who are at greater risk of dying from breast cancer include people of color, especially Black community members, and people with low income, no health insurance and no personal health care provider, as well as people experiencing one or more social barriers to health, are less likely to be up to date with regular mammograms.

The MDHHS Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Navigation Program is available to help low-income eligible residents receive breast and cervical cancer screenings (mammograms and pap tests) and follow-up care if needed. BC3NP is available across Michigan and works with health care providers. Uninsured residents can enroll in the program and receive cancer screening services (mammograms and pap tests) at no cost.

Residents who have insurance, but have high-deductibles, or insurance that does not cover all services, may receive screening and/or diagnostic breast and cervical services not paid for by their insurance. Patients diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer may also be eligible to receive treatment through the BC3NP Medicaid Treatment Act.

Residents should contact MDHHS to see if they are eligible for this program. Email BC3NP@Michigan.gov or call 844-446-8727 (TTY 711) for more information.

– Escanaba Daily Press


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