Mammograms and Pap tests save women's lives, but their costs can be out of reach for those who are uninsured or can't afford them on their own.
The Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program has been serving some of those women by providing a link to screenings and treatment with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 1994. Early detection is the key to successfully diagnosing and treating breast and cervical cancer.
The Pinellas County Health Department administers the county's Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program that serves women between the ages of 50 and 64 who are uninsured and whose household income is at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. For a family of four, 200 percent is $46,100 in gross income.
During the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the Pinellas program provided 2,208 breast screenings and diagnostic services. Almost 1,000 women received mammograms to detect breast cancer and 478 received Pap tests to detect cervical cancer.
Testing detected 29 breast cancers and three cases of cervical cancer or pre-cancers. The Florida program serves about 5.4 percent of the eligible population in the state that needs its services.