Affordable Health Insurance logo Everything You Need to Know About Affordable Health Insurance and More

  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Breast Cancer Amongst Black Women Is No Joke! Program Helps Low-Income, Uninsured Women Get Free Breast Cancer Screenings

Breast Cancer Screening

More than all other women, African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer. African-American women also develop cervical cancer more often than white women and are more than twice as likely to die from it. What are the reasons for this increased risk, and what can women do about it?

One reason appears to be that treatment is not sought early. This could be due to a lack of insurance which might prevent them from seeking initial treatment or following up on a treatment program. This is critical since African-American women are more likely to get a form of breast cancer that spreads more quickly. Breast cancer begins with the development of a mass or tumor in the breast tissue. If detected early, it can be treatable. Tumors are often not found in African-American women until they are in an advanced stage, making treatment more difficult and lowering the chances of survival.

Cervical cancer develops in the tissues of the cervix, located in the lower part of the uterus. It is caused by a virus that, in some women, will turn normal cells into cancer cells. However, if detected early, cervical cancer is one of the easiest female cancers to prevent. Early detection and treatment is the key.

Early Detection is Life-Saving

Early detection for breast cancer consists of a mammogram--every 1-2 years starting at age 40, and a physical exam by a physical. In addition, women are urged to do regular self exams at home. Early detection for cervical cancer consists of a Pap test every 2-3 years beginning at age 21. Research shows that 60 percent of women with cervical cancer have never had a Pap test done.

Early detection can be done, even for those without insurance and the ability to pay, by contacting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Through their National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP), breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services are available to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women across the United States. For more details, visit
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.