NH DHHS - January Is Cervical Health Awareness Month; Free Screenings Available

Concord, NH - The United States Congress has designated January as Cervical

Health Awareness Month. The New Hampshire Breast and Cervical Cancer

Program (BCCP) at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) would

like to remind all women that they should be screened for cervical cancer,

one of the most treatable cancers when it is detected early. Women in New

Hampshire who meet income criteria may be eligible for free screening

services through the Let No Woman Be Overlooked program.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cervical

cancer was once the leading cause of cancer death among women in the United

States. Over the past few decades cervical cancer–related deaths have

decreased significantly. The decrease is mostly due to women receiving

regular preventive screening services such as a Pap test. A Pap test is a

procedure to detect early changes in cells from a woman’s cervix before the

changes become cancer. According to the National Vital Statistics System,

during the years 2004–2008, there were 215 cases of cervical cancer and 84

deaths in New Hampshire. In the years 2004–2008, there were 62,577 cases of

cervical cancer in the United States and 19,779 deaths.

“Regular screening is one of the most valuable and effective tools we have

against cervical cancer,” said Dr. José Montero, Director for the Division

of Public Health at DHHS. “Since there are often no early symptoms with

cervical cancer it is important that women seek out screening services.

Over 24,000 New Hampshire women have received the recommended screening and

care needed for breast and cervical cancer through the Let No Woman Be

Overlooked program.”

The Let No Woman Be Overlooked program provides screening and diagnostic

tests. Most women diagnosed through the BCCP with cancer are eligible for

Medicaid to pay for the costs of treatment. Services are provided at the

community level statewide through participating primary care offices,

community health centers, and hospital clinics. If women meet the age and

income criteria they could receive FREE cervical cancer screening in New


To receive National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program

(NBCCEDP) screenings and other services, federal guidelines require a woman

to be uninsured or underinsured and live at or below 250 percent of the

federal poverty level. For example, for a family of two the annual income limit in New Hampshire is $37,825.


The Let No Woman Be Overlooked program follows nationally recognized screening

recommendations for cervical cancer screening. The BCCP recommends women

age 21–64 receive a Pap test every 3 years. Women ages, 30 –64 can opt for

a screening with Pap test and HPV test every 5 years. To determine if you

or someone you know is eligible, please call 1-800-852-3345, ext. 4931 or

visit the BCCP on the web at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdpc/bccp/index.htm