Over the last few years, we’ve made huge jumps in fighting breast cancer. We are catching breast cancer earlier, so more and more women across the country, are surviving and living full lives.
So why are so many Louisiana women dying of breast cancer? And why are they also dying of cervical cancer, which is entirely preventable? It’s not that Louisiana women are different from other women across the country. It’s because so many women here can’t or don’t get screened regularly like they should. Often they can’t afford a mammogram or a Pap test even when they have insurance or Medicaid, because of other costs such as co-pays or transportation issues. Sometimes there is no place close enough for a woman to get screened. Sometimes, there are language issues. And sometimes, it’s just because a woman is afraid to go or maybe find out they have cancer.
It’s for all of these reasons that the Louisiana Breast and Cervical Health Program (LBCHP) is here. We can provide no-cost mammograms and Pap tests to women in the state who qualify. To find out if you are eligible, got to lbchp.org/program-eligibility/. And to find the location that is closest to you, go to lbchp.org/screening-locations.
Once you contact us, you should know we have staff members called “navigators,” whose mission is to help you get the screening you need, whether it’s paying for the entire screening or helping out with other costs. Our navigators help guide women through the process of screening, including helping them get started in treatment if a cancer is found.
If you’ve never been, or rarely screened for breast or cervical cancer, please contact us today at 888-599-1073. We want to help you. And to keep up with LBCHP news, or maybe to help remind you to get screened, be sure to like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/louisiana.breast.cervical.health/?modal=admin_todo_tour.
By Laura Ricks
Louisiana Cancer Prevention & Control Programs Communications Manager