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WV Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program No Woman Should Die of Cervical Cancer

Charleston, WV – January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (WVBCCSP), a program dedicated to helping low-income, uninsured, or underinsured women receive free or low-cost Pap tests, encourages women to schedule their Pap test during January, or talk with their health care provider about when it is right for them to be screened.

The Pap test has played a significant role in reducing cervical cancer deaths. While cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer deaths for U.S. women, this is no longer true. The Pap test can detect changes in the cervix before cancer develops, and it can detect cancer in its earliest stages when more treatment options are available. Cervical cancer is nearly 100% curable when found early.

In addition to cervical cancer screening, knowing and understanding the various risk factors can reduce your chances of developing cervical cancer. The most significant risk factor associated with cervical cancer is infection with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which can be prevented by getting an HPV vaccination. Other risk factors include smoking, infec- tion with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), giving birth to three or more children, using birth control for a long time (five or more years), or having multiple sexual partners.

The West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (WVBCCSP) works with providers statewide to ensure women receive the services they need. An uninsured or underinsured woman with a fam- ily of four can have a total household income of $66,252.00 and still be eligible for the WVBCCSP. Don’t hesitate; contact one of the Program’s providers today to find out if you qualify, and to talk about what you can do to prevent cervical cancer. Women should visit the WVBCCSP website at or call the WVBCCSP at 1-800-642-8522 for more information about the program or to find a provider in their area.

Don’t wait. Talk with your health care provider and schedule your Pap test today.