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Pennsylvania Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (PA-BCCEDP)

Did you put off your breast and cervical cancer testing because of the pandemic? Now is the time to make your appointment. Cancer won’t wait!

Screen Out Cancer

The Pennsylvania Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (PA-BCCEDP) is a free breast and cervical cancer screening program of the Pennsylvania Department of Health. These screening tests look for signs of breast and cervical cancer. It is paid for by the Department of Health with money the department gets from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Early Detection is the Best Protection!

  • Breast, and cervical cancer often have no warning signs.
  • Regular screening tests can find cancer early when treatment has better results.
  • Screening tests and follow up tests can prevent breast and cervical cancer from developing.

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If you meet the requirements, you may be able to get these tests for free.

  • Mammograms to look for breast cancer;
  • Pap and HPV tests to look for cervical cancer;
  • Follow-up tests if results are not normal; and
  • Patient navigation, which means help setting appointments and solving other things that make it hard for you to get your tests.

These Things Help You Meet the Requirements

1. Age 

  • Ages 40 through 64 for breast cancer testing
  • Ages 21 through 64 for cervical cancer testing

NOTES:

  • Some women who are younger or older may qualify for screening services.

2. Where You Live
You must live in Pennsylvania.
 
3. Income
You may be able to get tests for free if your family's total income before taxes is at or below the income limits.

Income Limits Before Taxes – July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023
Family Size Yearly Income Monthly Income
1
$33,975 $2,831
2 $45,775 $3,815
3 $57,575 $4,798
4 $69,375 $5,781
5 $81,175 $6,765
6 $92,975 $7,748
7 $104,775 $8,731
8 $116,575 $9,715
Each additional person
$11,800 $983

4. Insurance 

  • You may be able to get breast and cervical cancer tests if you don’t have health insurance or if you are underinsured. Underinsured means you have health insurance, but it does not pay for all of your breast or cervical cancer testing. The program may be able to pay the part your insurance doesn’t pay. If you have Medicare Part B or Medicaid, you do not meet the rules for the program. 
  • You may be able to get testing from the program  if you only have Medicaid Family Planning Services program. 

5. Gender

  • Transgender people may be able to get tests.

Screening Matters 2 region map

Why is the Pennsylvania Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Important?

1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime.

  • One out of eight women will get breast cancer in their lifetime. 
  • 99 out of 100 people survive breast cancer if tests happen at an early stage when cancer treatment has better results.  
  • The older you are, the higher your risk of breast and cervical cancer. 
  • Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is the biggest cause of cervical cancer. 

Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines

The program uses the US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) cancer testing guidelines for most adults. Screening tests are used to find cancer before you have any signs or symptoms.

Breast Cancer Guidelines

Age How often should you get tested?
Less than 40 Get tested if you have signs or symptoms, or if you have a high risk of cancer
40-49 Every two years based on a decision between you and your healthcare provider
50-74 Every two years

* The program covers cancer testing up through age 64. You may be able to get tested for free if you are 65 or older and you don't have Medicare Part B.

These are general guidelines. Talk to your healthcare provider about what is best for you.

Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines

Age How often should you get tested?
Less than 21 Testing for cervical cancer is not suggested if you are less than 21 years old unless you have signs or symptoms.
21 to 29 Every 3 years with a Pap test alone. An HPV test should not be done unless it is needed after a Pap test that is not normal.
30-65
  • Every 3 years with Pap test alone or
  • Every 5 years with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) testing alone or
  • Every 5 years with HPV testing and a Pap test at the same time (cotesting)

* The program pays for cancer testing up through age 64. You may be able to get tests if you are 65 or over and don't have Medicare Part B.

Over 65 Testing is not suggested if you are up to date with testing and not at high risk for cervical cancer.

These are general guidelines. Talk to your healthcare provider about what is best for you.

What Happens if Cancer is Found?

If breast or cervical cancer or a precancerous condition is found through the program, you may be able to get free treatment through the Department of Human Services (DHS) - Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program (BCCPT).  Free treatment for BCCPT is decided by DHS. For more information visit the BCCPT website.

If  cancer was found by this program’s healthcare provider, the provider will send the BCCPT application for you.

If cancer was found by any other healthcare provider, the provider can download the application form found on the BCCPT website.

Take Control of Your Health and Help Reduce Your Cancer Risk:



  • Get a Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination! The HPV vaccine can prevent more than 9 out of 10 HPV-caused cancers. Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV. 
  • Stay away from tobacco.
  • Keep a healthy weight.
  • Move more with regular physical activity.
  • Eat healthy foods with lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink (if you drink at all).
  • Protect your skin with sunscreen of SPF of 15 or more whenever you're outside.

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