Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. In Michigan this year, 1,500 women will die from this disease. Most of these deaths could have been avoided. Early detection provides women with wider treatment options and better chances of recovery.
The risk of breast cancer increases as a woman ages. The American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute recommend women begin yearly mammograms at age 40. All women should check their breasts each month. Monthly exams may alert women to changes in their breasts. If changes are noticed a doctor should be consulted.
Cervical cancer is usually found by a pelvic exam and a pap smear. A pap smear is a laboratory test of cells from a woman’s cervix. The test checks for unusual looking cells which may indicate cancer or pre-cancer. Although cervical cancer is more common among women aged 35-50, the American Cancer Society & the MDHHS recommend all women 21 and older should obtain a pap test every 3 years. Cervical cancer deaths have decreased worldwide due to the pap smear. As with breast cancer, early detection can mean the difference between life and death.
Screening is available for women age 40 and older, with no insurance who meet certain income requirements through MDHHS’ BCCCNP via Ingham County (Hyperlink to BCCCNP homepage please)
For women under the age of 40, or who have insurance please contact our Family Planning Program. (Hyperlink to FP homepage please)