By Stephanie Hinton, CPM, MHS, MA, Director, DHEC Division of Cancer Prevention & Control
Cervical cancer symptoms may not be present in early stages. That’s why routine screenings are so important to detect cervical cancer early before symptoms occur. When caught and treated early, cervical cancer is highly curable.
You May Qualify for Free Screening
Cervical cancer screenings are available for South Carolina women who meet program eligibility requirements. DHEC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control administers The Best Chance Network (BCN). Contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 for additional information on program eligibility. You may qualify if you:
- Are a woman who lives in South Carolina
- Are 40 to 64-years old
- Do not have health insurance or are underinsured (meaning your insurance only covers hospital care)
- Meet income eligibility guidelines
Cervical Cancer is on the Decline
According to the S.C. Central Cancer Registry, 980 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer from 2008 – 2012, while more than 350 women died from the disease during the same period. Thanks to an increase in routine Pap smears, cervical cancer rates have dropped drastically in the last 60 years, but South Carolina still ranks 14th in the nation for cervical cancer incidence and mortality.