Planned Parenthood Expands Breast Cancer Detection Efforts

New Local Funding Program Will Help More Women Catch Breast Cancer Sooner


Liz Delapoer
Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette
503.775.4931 x3321

Published: 08.20.12| Updated: 08.20.12

Portland, OR # Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette (PPCW) today announced that it will be launching a new fund to help ensure its breast health patients in Oregon and SW Washington can afford access to follow-up diagnostic services. PPCWs Breast Health Patient Assistance Fund will provide financial assistance to low-income patients who need diagnostic follow-up testing, such as ultrasounds and mammograms, following a clinical breast exam at PPCW. PPCWs Breast Health Patient Assistance Fund will be launched with a grant from Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The announcement is part of a nationwide expansion of Planned Parenthoods breast health programs, made possible by an outpouring of donations from the public after the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation stopped providing grants to Planned Parenthood because of intense pressure from political groups and then quickly reversed course earlier this year.

As a trusted provider of breast cancer screening in Oregon and SW Washington, Planned Parenthood is a critical resource for women in the fight to detect breast cancer early. Last year, PPCW provided 9,764 clinical breast exams to screen women for breast cancer. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood health centers provide breast cancer screening for nearly 750,000 women each year. One in five women has turned to Planned Parenthood at some time in her life for health care.

At Planned Parenthood, we are committed to removing the barriers that stand in the way of women getting screened for breast cancer, said Kathleen Altman, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette Chief Operating Officer. When our patients need follow-up services like ultrasounds or mammograms, we want to do everything we can to make sure they have access to affordable diagnostic testing and follow-up care.

As a trusted provider of health care to more than 60,000 patients a year, PPCW understands the challenges patients often face in seeking care. When it comes to following up on breast abnormalities, fear and cost are two of the most significant barriers. PPCW plans to address these barriers through its new Breast Health Patient Assistance Fund. When Planned Parenthood clinicians identify potential breast abnormalities in patients, they refer patients for diagnostic follow-up care. The Breast Health Patient Assistance Fund will provide financial assistance to women needing that follow-up care, giving more women access to lifesaving cancer screenings and diagnostic services to help them identify potential breast health issues early, and make the best decisions about their health.

PPCW encourages women to schedule a regular check-up at a local Planned Parenthood health center, which includes a clinical breast exam that can help detect breast cancer early. Community members interested in contributing to PPCWs Breast Health Patient Assistance Fund can call 503-280-6156.


Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette (PPCW) is the largest non-profit family planning and reproductive rights organization in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Since 1963, PPCW has successfully carried out its mission of providing, promoting and protecting access to quality reproductive and sexual health care. Each year, more than 60,000 women, men and teens visit one of PPCWs ten health centers. PPCW provides a wide range of education programs and health care services, including life-saving cancer screenings, birth control, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, emergency contraception, gynecological check-ups and Pap tests, breast exams, pregnancy testing and options information, and health counseling. Less than five percent of PPCWs services are for early abortion care. For more information, visit

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