As part of National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (WVBCCSP) within the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health encourages women to schedule their Pap test or talk with their health care provider about being screened. WVBCCSP helps low income, uninsured, or underinsured women receive free or low-cost Pap tests.
“No woman should die of cervical cancer,” said Charlene Hickman, Program Manager for WVBCCSP. “Pap tests can detect changes in the cervix before cancer develops, as well as 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 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 receiving the HPV vaccine. Other risk factors include smoking, infection 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.
WVBCCSP works with providers statewide to ensure women receive the services they need. An uninsured or underinsured woman with a family of four can have a total household income of $69,372 and still be eligible for WVBCCSP services. To find out if you qualify, visit the WVBCCSP website or call 1-800-642-8522 for more information or to find a local provider.