Statewide program offering free mammograms for low-income and uninsured Coloradans
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- As Breast Cancer Awareness month comes to a close, the State of Colorado is still urging Coloradans to stay up to date on mammograms. To do this, the state is offering free, life-saving mammograms to individuals who qualify through the Women's Wellness Connection program.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the program operates at more than 100 clinics across the state.
“We want people to know their risk for breast cancer, how to reduce that risk, and when to get a mammogram. We also want to make sure they know where they can get a mammogram,” said Emily Kinsella, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Women’s Wellness Connection section manager, in a press release. “The Women’s Wellness Connection program exists so that cost, lack of health insurance, or immigration status don’t get in the way of individuals getting these crucial screenings to protect their health.”
According to the American Cancer Society, only 37% of uninsured women were up to date with breast cancer screening in 2019, compared to 70% of privately insured women nationwide.
In addition to the free mammograms, the state began a campaign to raise awareness of free Women's Wellness Connection services which includes television, radio, and outdoor advertising, plus direct outreach to Colorados through text messages.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, CDPHE sent additional text reminders to stay up to date on mammograms.
In Colorado, the CDPHE said more than 5,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
One in eight women will get breast cancer in their lifetime, but the good news is that nearly everyone can survive breast cancer when it is caught in the early stages.
“We know that finding cancer early can make a huge difference in treatment and outcome. We also know that in recent years, during the pandemic, many got behind on routine cancer screenings. Making sure we all get caught up on mammograms will save lives,” said Kinsella.
The Women’s Wellness Connection program serves individuals ages 21 to 64 without health insurance or limited insurance and with demonstrated financial need.
The program also provides free Pap tests to check for cervical cancer.
For more information on the program, click here. People can also call the American Cancer Society at 1-866-951-9355 for help finding a clinic that offers free or low-cost cancer screenings as part of the Women’s Wellness Connection program near them.