PA-Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program

You May Be Eligible for Free Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening

Penn Highlands Life's Journey OB/GYN is proud to offer services covered under the Pennsylvania Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (PA-BCCEDP). Formerly called Healthy Woman Program, the PA-Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program provides free breast and cervical cancer screening services for eligible women age 40 and over. The program is funded by the Department of Health and is a grant provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How Do I Qualify for Free Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Services?

To qualify, you must be a resident of Pennsylvania and meet the following criteria:

  • Be a biological female. You may qualify if you are a transgender woman (male to female) who is taking hormones or are a transgender man (female to male) who still has breasts, a cervix, or both.
  • For breast cancer screening and diagnostics, you must be age 40 through 64.
  • For cervical cancer screening and diagnostics, you must be age 21 through 64. Age exceptions may apply in certain situations.
  • Gross household income at or below 250 percent of federal poverty guidelines. (See chart)
  • You are uninsured or underinsured, are financially unable to pay required deductible or co-payment, or are enrolled in Medicaid Family Planning Services program. If you are enrolled in Medicare Part B or Medicaid, you are not eligible for PA-BCCEDP.

What Services Does the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program Provide?

Our Penn Highlands Life's Journey OB/GYN staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and highly skilled. We take the time to answer your questions, perform thorough exams and tests, and to arm you with the information you need to stay healthy.

Under the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program we will provide you with the following services:

  • Self-breast exam instruction and clinical breast exam
  • Screening and diagnostic mammogram
  • Diagnostic tests, including sonograms, biopsies, and aspirations
  • Pelvic exams, pap tests, HPV tests
  • Cervical diagnostic services including colonoscopy, LEEP (treats cervical dysplasia)
  • Follow-up diagnostic tests for abnormal screening results

What are Breast Cancer Symptoms?

Breast cancer symptoms vary. You may feel a lump or mass inside your breast or under your arm, have breast pain, or experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling or other change is the size or appearance of the breast
  • Rash or flaking skin on the breast
  • Redness or pitting of the breast skin
  • Inverted or contracted nipple
  • Nipple discharge

Some breast cancers do not have any obvious symptoms and are detected only through screening and diagnostic methods like mammograms.

What are Cervical Cancer Symptoms?

There are often no symptoms in the early stages of cervical cancer. As the cancer develops, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Vaginal bleeding after intercourse
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge with foul odor
  • Pelvic pain during intercourse

What Happens if Cervical Cancer or Breast Cancer is Detected?

We will notify you of any abnormal screening results and discuss the next steps. If breast or cervical cancer or a precancerous condition is detected through the PA-Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, you may be eligible for free treatment through the Department of Human Services' Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program (BCCPT). If this is the case, we will submit an application for you requesting your acceptance into the treatment program.