According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., one in eight women will develop breast cancer. It is the most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of death among women.
While no one wants to hear they have breast cancer, the good news is more women are living longer and healthier lives after a diagnosis. The key is early detection.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Now is the time to talk to your healthcare provider about getting screened and encourage your family and friends to do the same.
In 1997, the Arkansas General Assembly passed the Breast Cancer Act, which led to the ADH’s BreastCare program. The BreastCare program has coordinated efforts with a statewide network of providers offering no-cost screenings and follow-up services to eligible women who are uninsured or underinsured. Women aged 21-64 can be screened for cervical cancer, and women aged 40-64 can be screened for breast cancer, regardless of ethnicity or nationality.
In addition to screening and diagnostic services, BreastCare provides educational information to communities about the importance of regular breast exams as well as the risks associated with breast cancer.
Since its inception 25 years ago, the BreastCare Program has enrolled over 128,000 women for breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services.
In the 2021 Regular Session, we passed Act 553. This act amends the law concerning coverage of diagnostic examinations for breast cancer under certain health benefit plans. It clarifies that an insurer, upon the recommendation of a woman's physician, must offer screening mammography as an essential health benefit if the woman has a prior history of breast cancer or the woman's mother, sister, or any first- or second-degree female relative of the woman has had a history of breast cancer, positive genetic testing, or other risk factors.
The General Assembly continually reviews legislation to improve services for early detection.
If you would like more information on the BreastCare program, call 501-661-2942 or visit www.ARBreastCare.com.