ODH expands eligibility for breast and cervical cancer project  

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 5, 2021

More low-income Ohioans will now have access

COLUMBUS — Through the state’s biennial budget process, elected officials allocated an additional $100,000 per year to expand Medicaid eligibility for treatment of women who are diagnosed with cancer through the Ohio Department of Health’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Project.

The BCCP is a critical safety net program that provides free mammograms, cervical exams and other prevention services to more than 7,000 low-income Ohioans each year.

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“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is proud to have worked with lawmakers through the budget process to expand eligibility to this critical program and thanks the ODH for its quick action to implement this expansion,” said Leo Almeida, ACS CAN government relations director.

“The American Cancer Society helps people with breast cancer in every community and recommends that women are proactive about life-saving screening, including annual mammograms beginning at age 45 for women of average risk,” Kathy Goss, PhD, VP of Regional Cancer Control at the American Cancer Society, said. “ACS’s research has played a role in many of the prevention, screening and treatment advances in breast cancer treatment that help save lives from breast cancer.”

An expansion could not come at a better time, the department said. Last spring, mammography rates declined by 70 percent because of the pandemic, causing a backlog of screenings or the risk that many people will forego their screenings altogether.

“So as we mark the end of Breast Cancer Awareness month, ACS and ACS CAN applaud this expansion and remind everyone that early detection of cancer and access to care saves lives,” the department said in a news release.