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Women's Health

The West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (WVBCCSP) is a comprehensive public health program that helps uninsured or underinsured women gain access to breast and cervical cancer screening services.  Screening and early detection reduces death rates, improves treatment options, and greatly increases survival.

The WVBCCSP provides clinical breast examinations (CBEs), mammograms, and Pap tests for eligible women, as well as diagnostic testing for women whose screening outcome is abnormal. Since Program inception in 1991, the WVBCCSP has enrolled 146,745 women and provided more than 2,800,000 Pap tests, 289,000 mammograms, and 302,000 breast exams.

While screening services are key to early detection, their existence alone is insufficient to achieve a reduction in the illness and death associated with these diseases. As required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the WVBCCSP engages in the following activities in order to implement a comprehensive program: 

The Impact of Breast and Cervical Cancer

In 2007, the American Cancer Society estimates that in the United States, 178,480 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and 40,460 women will die from the disease. During the same time period, 11,150 U.S. women will be diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer and 3,670 will die.

In West Virginia, the West Virginia Cancer Registry noted that from 1999-2003, breast cancer was the most commonly diagnosed cancer among West Virginia women and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among West Virginia women aged 25 to 44 years. During the same time period, cervical cancer was the tenth most commonly diagnosed cancer among West Virginia women (third among women aged 25-44 years) and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women 25-44 years.

Currently, mammography is the best method for early detection of breast cancer. Early detection not only increases a woman’s chance of survival, but also increases her treatment options. In terms of cervical cancer detection, research shows that if routine cervical screening (such as Pap tests) is followed, most cases of cervical cancer can be prevented.

Program Goals:

WVBCCSP Federal Funds (Title XV/CDC)

Purpose: Provide screening and referral services for the early detection of breast and cervical cancer with special emphasis on low income women, minorities, women with disabilities and women aged 50-64.

What is covered:


Diagnostic and Treatment Fund (WV Legislature/State Funding)

Purpose: Provide West Virginia residents who are medically indigent diagnostic services necessary to determine whether or not they have breast or cervical cancer.

What is covered:


Medicaid Treatment Act (Title XIX/Centers for Medicaid/Medicare/BMS)

Purpose: Provide Medicaid benefits to uninsured women diagnosed with breast and/or cervical cancer and/or certain pre-cancerous conditions, while they are receiving treatment.

What is covered:

Medicaid benefits cover any and all needed medical services specified as a covered benefit by West Virginia Medicaid.


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