Program Aims to Help More Women Catch Breast Cancer Sooner
BOSTON – Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) announced today that it is expanding its services for breast health to patients who visit any of their health centers across the state. The announcement is part of a nationwide expansion of Planned Parenthood’s breast health programs. Funding was made possible through the public donations that poured in after the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation bowed to conservative political pressure and stopped providing grants to Planned Parenthood earlier this year. Fortunately, when millions of Americans rushed to support Planned Parenthood and protest the Komen Foundation’s decision, the Komen Foundation quickly reversed course and restored funding.
Women in Massachusetts rely on PPLM for breast cancer screening and referrals for follow-up care. Last year, PPLM provided breast cancer screening at 9,433 well-woman exams. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood health centers provide breast cancer screening for nearly 750,000 women each year.
“At Planned Parenthood, we are committed to removing the barriers that stand in the way of women getting screened for breast cancer,” said Dianne Luby, President and CEO of PPLM. “We are so grateful to the 2,260 local supporters who donated to PPLM to support our breast health program – including 1,715 new donors who were moved by this story. Thousands of others spoke up online and contacted us personally when affiliate funding for breast cancer screening was threatened.”
The expanded breast health program will give more women access to lifesaving cancer screenings, diagnostic services, and educational resources to help them identify potential breast health issues early, and make informed decisions about their care.
As a trusted provider of health care for men and women in Massachusetts, PPLM has a deep understanding of the challenges patients often face when seeking care. When it comes to following up on breast abnormalities, fear and cost are often two of the most significant barriers.
PPLM is helping to remove cost as a barrier for some women by paying for diagnostic follow-up procedures for women who do not have the resources to afford care themselves. When Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses identify potential breast abnormalities in patients, they refer patients for diagnostic follow-up care. Under the new program, PPLM will use a one-year grant from Planned Parenthood Federation of America to help cover some of these costs.
“Whether it’s a clinical exam, necessary follow-up services like biopsies or ultrasounds, or information about their options — we’re thrilled that we can provide more patients in Massachusetts with essential breast health screenings and follow-up care,” said Luby. “At Planned Parenthood, we are focused on early detection and ensuring our staff and patients understand the risks and signs of breast cancer, which makes us an important partner in the fight against this disease.”
One in five women has turned to Planned Parenthood at some time in her life for health care. PPLM’s health centers across the state will be participating in the new breast health program. To learn more, go to www.pplm.org or call 800-258-4448.
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts is the largest freestanding reproductive health care provider in the state. For over 80 years PPLM has protected and promoted sexual and reproductive health and freedom of choice through clinical services, education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.pplm.org.
Media Relations Coordinator
August 20, 2012