State to cut mammograms for low-income women

December 30, 2009

Sacramento intends to cut $10 million to Every Woman Counts, a cancer-screening program for low-income women. [Newsweek]

The California Department of Public Health decided earlier this month to save money by raising the minimum age for free mammograms from 40 to 50.

During the last seven years, Every Woman Counts has provided free mammograms and cervical-cancer screenings to women earning less than $21,660 a year. The program had been funded mostly through tobacco tax revenue, which has decreased along with the number of smokers in the state.

Given the bad economy, more women have used Every Woman Counts and Sacramento had to use emergency funds to keep the program afloat.

Such funding is no longer available and women’s health advocates worry that other states will follow California’s example. Twenty states have scaled back their screening programs in the last 18 months, according to the American Cancer Society.


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6 Comments

  1. cheseburger says:

    We have to take care of two, of Americas most beautiful scenes in the first place, I would put them up there with national parks and they were going to close them too, thirty not fifty, right girls!

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  2. cheseburger says:

    Mccdave,”This is a central problem in healthcare, especially in the U.S.: a large portion of it is pointless,” not to hard to convince poor defrauded investors who no longer have any health insurance, that the ” death panel ” is on it’s way! Doctors, lawyers, cops, administrators and politicians have nothing to worry about, okay I’ll go away, back to the sharks again.

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    • cheseburger says:

      Breaking news today on KSBY, said women should be tested for breast cancer at thirty years of age instead of forty, early detection is the best prevention. I agreed and don’t these guys have it backwards, un huh!

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  3. mccdave says:

    CalCoastNews is ill-equipped to provide crucial background here, so I will.

    The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently caused a kerfuffle when they issued guidelines calling for breast cancer screening to start at age 50 instead of the previous recommendation, age 40.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/17/health/17cancer.html

    There’s been controversy over the guidelines, accompanied by more predictable “death panel” lies over insurance coverage, but one thing is clear: more healthcare isn’t always better, and this includes cancer screening. Excessive or too-early screening for breast cancer and prostate cancer can just lead to false or meaningless positives and needless worry and pointless intervention. Many positive diagnoses for prostate cancer don’t call for surgery since they occur late in life and progress slowly, etc.

    Individuals should be able to make their informed choices about when to start screening, so cutting this state program is unfair, but it’s not the end of the world. This is a central problem in healthcare, especially in the U.S.: a large portion of it is pointless, but it can be hard to convince people of this.

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