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Screening and early detection of cervical cancer can save lives

(New Haven, CT) — January 2022 is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) — a proud provider of cervical cancer screenings and supporter of the Connecticut Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program which provides free cervical cancer screenings to those who qualify— is urging all individuals with a cervix to schedule their screening today.

According to the American Society for Cancer Research, a disproportionate number of people who are diagnosed and die from cervical cancer are the same communities who face tremendous barriers to receiving preventative care: people of color, trans men, people with low incomes, and people without access to health insurance. The state of Connecticut offers a cervical cancer screening program targeted at helping alleviate the disparity in diagnosis and help people receive access to care: The Connecticut Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (CBCCEDP)

While cervical cancer can cause serious health issues and death if untreated, it is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. As many as 93 percent of cervical cancers could be prevented by screening and HPV vaccination, services that Planned Parenthood of Southern New England routinely provides.

Kristina Lambert, a Family Nurse Practitioner and Clinician at PPSNE comments:

"A cervical cancer screening — or a 'pap test’ — is a quick and painless way to ensure you live a longer and healthier life. Anyone with a cervix can develop cervical cancer. That is why regular screenings are essential for staying healthy.

“If an individual is unsure if they’ve had a cervical cancer screening or they haven’t had a screening in the past few years, please call us to schedule. We’re here to help. If cost or insurance is an issue, we can assist with enrollment into CT’s free screening program.

“Our doors are open to everyone. No one should have to die from this preventable and treatable disease."

The CBCCEDP is a comprehensive screening program available throughout Connecticut for medically underserved people. The program strives to significantly increase the number of people who receive breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment referral services. All services are offered free of charge through the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s contracted health care providers located statewide.

Participation in the early detection program is crucial. People diagnosed with cancer or precancerous conditions through the free Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program can receive free treatment for the cancer or precancerous condition through a special Medicaid coverage group. More information about the program can be found on the Connecticut Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program website.

Planned Parenthood of Southern New England’s health centers in Connecticut provide care to more than 56,000 people each year, many of them underinsured or uninsured. PPSNE’s centers in Connecticut annually provide more than 7,000 pap tests and more than 4,000 tests for HPV. PPSNE’s Connecticut locations provide a full range of reproductive health care, including cervical cancer screening, colposcopy, and LEEP services to diagnose and treat abnormal cervical conditions.

To learn more about preventative cancer screenings, individuals can visit ppsne.org or make an appointment online or by calling 1-800-230-PLAN (7526).