Now is the time for cervical cancer screening

You may have heard that January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. You may have also heard the news that cervical cancer screening guidelines have changed. And while this is true, the underlying message remains the same — women ages 21 to 65 should get screened to prevent cervical cancer or catch it in the early stages when treatment is most effective.

Women without health insurance are much less likely to be screened (71 percent) when compared to women with health insurance (88 percent). The Cancer Services Program of Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties can help. The CSP offers free cervical cancer screening to eligible, uninsured women, ages 40 and older. The program also provides free breast cancer screening to women 40 and older and colon cancer screening to uninsured men and women ages 50 and older.

Cervical cancer screening is covered for women with health insurance, including Medicaid and plans available through the New York State of Health.

If you have insurance, talk to your doctor about cervical cancer screening. If you’re uninsured, call the Cancer Services Program today at 1-866-442-2262 to find out if you qualify for free cancer screenings. In Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties, you can call (518) 841-3726 for more information.

SUZANNE HAGADORN

Amsterdam