HHSC Encourages Cancer Screenings During Cervical Health Awareness Month

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AUSTIN – During National Cervical Health Awareness Month this January, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission is encouraging women to get screened for cervical cancer.

“Cervical cancer screening rates have declined nationally during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we kick off 2022, we are encouraging Texans to turn that trend around by resolving to prioritize cervical health,” said Lindsay Rodgers, HHSC associate commissioner for Health and Developmental Services. “Routine cervical cancer screening is the most effective way to detect cervical cancer early, and the first step is talking with your doctor.”

In 2018, which is the most recent year of available data, there were 1,299 new cases of cervical cancer for women in Texas. Cervical cancer is the third leading cancer diagnosis in women ages 20-39 and fifth in women ages 40-49.

In Texas, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Services (BCCS) program provides low-cost and free women’s health services for uninsured and underinsured Texas women who meet eligibility requirements. Services include cervical and breast cancer screenings, clinical breast examinations, mammograms, and breast biopsies. BCCS helps fund clinics across the state to provide these life-saving screening and diagnostic services.

Between Sept. 2020 and Sept. 2021, BCCS served 27,985 women including 7,217 women who received cervical cancer screenings and 838 women who received treatment for precancerous cervical conditions.

The BCCS program is partly funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program awards funding to states for early detection of cervical and breast cancers. Between June 2019 and June 2020, the federal program awarded BCCS more than $6 million. The Texas Legislature appropriates more than $2 million annually to supplement federal efforts.

To find BCCS providers or learn more about women’s health services, visit www.healthytexaswomen.org or call 2-1-1.

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