Maine CDC Breast and Cervical Health Program

According to the 2014 Maine Cancer Surveillance Report, “Maine females have a higher prevalence of breast cancer screening compared to U.S. females.” A portion of the statistic can be contributed to Maine CDC’s Breast and Cervical Health Program (MBCHP), which provides “breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to underserved women” (MBCHP website). Women who qualify receive free clinical breast and pelvic exams at provider locations statewide.

“Last year, we served approximately 3,000 unique Maine women,” said Program Director Maryann Zuremba. “Out of those 3,000 women, we covered 2,682 mammograms. Our program also covers ultrasounds and biopsies if necessary too.”

While the program only covers breast and cervical screenings, uninsured women who are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer while enrolled in the screening program will have treatment covered under the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act. “The Treatment Act is a great addition to the national breast and cervical screening mandate,” said Maryann. “How can we have a comprehensive nationwide screening program, detect early cancers, and abandon these women when it comes to paying for treatment?”

Maryann is proud of the efforts to support underserved Maine women. Since 2001, MBCHP has assisted over 1,000 women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer pay for treatment. “Many people fear screenings because they know if something is detected, they won’t be able to pay for it. Through MBCHP, any qualifying individual who does not have health insurance will be covered if cancer is detected.”

Learn more about MBCHP and see if you qualify for coverage: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/population-health/bcp/

Early detection saves lives. Maine Cancer Foundation is dedicated to fostering prevention practices and increasing cancer screenings. We support programs that improve and increase early detection and screening efforts, and work closely with Maine CDC to understand the cancer landscape and change the story in our state.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017