Mercy partners to bring access to lifesaving cancer screenings

Press Staff Writer

        This year, nearly 14,000 new women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. About 3,400 women are expected to lose their battle.
        In observance of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month this January, Mercy Health encourages women to learn about risk factors, symptoms and cancer screening opportunities available – including engaging the Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP) for those without insurance.
        Early detection is the key to successfully treating cervical and breast cancers and Mercy Health is helping to ensure that all women have access to these lifesaving screenings.
        “If found early, nearly all cervical and breast cancers can be treated successfully, and for those women with insurance coverage, cancer screenings can be covered at no cost,” said Cindy Pisano, supervisor, Healthy Connections Department. “Mercy Health is pleased to have a continued partnership with the Ohio Department of Health Breast and Cervical Cancer Project so these tests are available to all women – no matter the ability to pay.”
        The BCCP can also help women find providers and community resources as well as answer questions about scheduling appointments and using insurance. Eligibility for the no-cost breast and cervical cancer screenings includes:
        • Income: Gross household income must be at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level.
        • Insurance: Uninsured or underinsured/cost sharing.
        • This program is for Ohio residents however, participants don’t have to be U.S. citizens to enroll.
        A pap test is the best method of detecting cervical cancer. Women aged 21 and over are eligible for assistance paying for a pap test every three-to-five years. Additionally, BCCP will help fund screening mammograms for women aged 40 and older every other year and annual screening mammograms for high-risk women aged 21 and older. BCCP also will help with diagnostic mammogram for women aged 21-40 who are symptomatic.
        To fill out an application contact Mercy Health’s Community Health Worker at 419-251-2282 or visit
        According to the American Cancer Society, risk factors for cervical cancer include smoking, a weakened immune system and long-term use of birth control pills. However, lasting HPV infections are the most common risk factor in contracting the cancer.
        The initial warning symptoms are often subtle and seen with less serious conditions such as back pain and bloating but can develop into more aggressive symptoms. Because of this, it is recommended to screen for cervical cancer, with the addition of a HPV test, every five years for women ages 25 until age 65.


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