Maryland marks 25 years of breast and cervical cancer services
Programs have provided resources for uninsured and underinsured Marylanders since 1992
Baltimore, MD (October 31, 2017) – The Maryland Department of Health’s Maryland Breast and Cervical Cancer Program and the Maryland Breast and Cervical Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Program have delivered 25 years of service to underserved Maryland residents as of this year. From their inception, these programs have provided breast and cervical cancer services and resources that were once unavailable to uninsured, low income individuals.
In the early 1990s, Maryland women without health insurance had few resources available to help them receive screenings, diagnosis, or treatment of breast or cervical cancer. The Department of Health recognized the need throughout the state for assistance programs focused on breast and cervical cancer, and in 1992, implemented the Maryland Breast and Cervical Cancer Program with federal funding and then based on a determined local need, created the Maryland Breast and Cervical Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Program.
“The program results over the last 25 years for both the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program and the Breast and Cervical Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment program are quite an accomplishment,” said Dr. Jinlene Chan, acting deputy secretary for the Maryland Department of Health’s Public Health Services Administration. “The resources offered through these two programs save lives, aid in early detection and diagnosis, and lead to better overall health for Marylanders.”
Through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Maryland Breast and Cervical Cancer Program began providing no cost breast and cervical cancer screenings to eligible Maryland women as part of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program – the only nationally organized cancer screening program for underserved women in the United States. The Maryland Breast and Cervical Cancer Program provides breast exams, mammograms, Pap tests, needed follow-up tests, and patient navigation services to eligible women across the state of Maryland – at no cost to the individual. More than 87,000 women have utilized these services during the 25 years of the program’s existence. From 1992 through June 30, 2017 the program has provided:
- 272,132 mammograms;
- 150,994 Pap tests;
- 46,426 follow-up procedures;
- 2,120 cases of breast cancer;
- 84 cases of cervical cancer; and
- 656 cases of CIN 2 and CIN 3 (Cervical Intra-epithelial Neoplasia – severely abnormal cells that may become cancer and spread).
Following the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2015, the Maryland Breast and Cervical Cancer Program began providing patient navigation services to insured women as well. To help navigate the cancer screening process, these women can now receive: help making appointments, transportation to appointments, language interpretation, and assistance with co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles. Almost 700 Maryland women have received patient navigation services through the program since 2015.
The Maryland Breast and Cervical Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Program was established as part of the Governor's Cancer Initiative to reduce mortality due to breast cancer and cervical cancer. The Breast and Cervical Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Program utilizes State funds to reimburse participating providers for breast and cervical cancer diagnosis and treatment services for uninsured and under-insured, program eligible Maryland residents. Twenty-five years later, underserved women in Maryland still have access to these resources for breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment. Since the program’s inception, approximately 47,800 Maryland residents have benefited from these services.
Marylanders needing assistance with breast or cervical cancer screening, diagnosis, or treatment services can call 1-800-477-9774 for additional information.