AUSTIN – In observance of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission is encouraging women to get screened for breast cancer.
Eligible women can receive free screenings through HHSC’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program. BCCS helps fund clinics across the state to provide breast cancer screening and diagnostic services such as clinical breast examinations, mammograms, and breast biopsies. In 2019, the program helped more than 24,600 women in Texas, including more than 16,000 women who received breast cancer services.
“Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in Texas women, so we want to stress the importance of getting screened on a regular basis to detect cancer in its early stages when treatment is most likely to be effective,” said Dee Budgewater, HHS deputy executive commissioner for Health, Developmental and Independence Services. “The screening and diagnostic services that BCCS provides are life-saving tools that can lower the mortality rate of breast cancer in Texas.”
In addition to breast cancer services, BCCS provides cervical cancer screenings and treatment for precancerous cervical conditions. Uninsured and underinsured Texas women who have an income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible to apply for BCCS. Additional eligibility requirements can be found here.
As a grantee of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, BCCS is partly funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The federal program provides grants to states for early detection of breast and cervical cancers. Between June 2019 and June 2020, the federal program awarded BCCS more than $6 million as part of the effort.
To find services or learn more about women’s health, visit www.healthytexaswomen.org or dial 2-1-1.
About National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is observed in October in the United States. The month is intended to raise awareness about breast cancer and provide education about prevention, screening, and treatments. Every year in the U.S., about 250,000 women and men are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 42,000 Americans die from breast cancer. The survival rate significantly increases when cancer is found and treated early.
This month, some notable Breast Cancer Awareness dates include:
- Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day – Oct. 13
- National Mammography Day – Oct. 18
- Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day – Oct. 21
More information about the observances is posted on the CDC website.