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Texas HHSC Encourages Cancer Screenings

AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission recognizes January as National Cervical Health Awareness Month and encourages women to get screened for cervical cancer.

“Over the years, we have seen a dramatic decrease in cervical cancer. However, rates have recently leveled off,” said Faith Sandberg-Rodriguez, associate commissioner of Family Clinical Services. “Half of the cervical cancer cases we see today occur among women who have never or rarely get screened. We are encouraging Texans to turn that trend around by resolving to prioritize cervical health. Routine cervical cancer screening is the most effective way to detect cervical cancer early, and the first step is talking with your doctor.”

Cervical cancer is the third leading cancer diagnosis in women ages 20-39 and fifth in women ages 40-49. According to the Texas Cancer Registry, there were 1,395 new cases of cervical cancer in Texas women in 2019.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend cervical cancer screenings for women ages 21–65.

HHSC’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Services (BCCS) program provides low-cost and free women’s health services for uninsured and underinsured Texas women who meet eligibility requirements. Services include cervical and breast cancer screenings, clinical examinations, mammograms, and breast biopsies. BCCS helps fund clinics across the state to provide these life-saving screening and diagnostic services. In the fiscal year 2021, BCCS served 29,232 women, including 5,421 women who received cervical cancer screenings.

CDC partly funds the BCCS program. The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program award funding to states for the early detection of cervical and breast cancers. In June 2022, the federal program awarded BCCS more than $7.4 million. In addition, the Texas Legislature appropriates more than $2 million annually to supplement national efforts.

To find BCCS providers or learn more about women’s health services, visit the Healthy Texas Women website or call 2-1-1.

About National Cervical Health Awareness Month

National Cervical Health Awareness Month is in January in the United States. Efforts throughout the month raise awareness about cervical cancer and provide education about prevention, screening, and treatments. You can receive more information about cervical cancer posted on the CDC website.