Low-cost or free cancer screenings make tests accessible to all

An important cancer screening could save your life.

Over on our Facebook page and via Twitter, the Do You Know Cancer team has been asking for your feedback regarding the importance of cancer screenings. Many of you said you would never put off an important test, like a mammogram, just because you knew it would be uncomfortable, and others said that they’d find a way to get their screening no matter what the cost. Good for you!

But some people put off these and other cancer screenings simply because they are uninsured, underinsured, or just don’t have the money to cover the cost. So, we’ve decided to provide our visitors with as much information as we can about low-cost or free cancer screenings across the country, so that every person can have access to potentially life-saving tests. We hope to feature this type of news story every month or so, just like our cancer center profiles, so that we can cover major cities nationwide!

We’ll start in the state of New York. In New York City alone, there were an estimated 6,033 deaths as a result of malignant cancer tumors between 2003 and 2007 (the state’s Cancer Incidence and Mortality for New York City chart goes more in-depth). People who need to find out how they can access free screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer in NY can call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262). Those who qualify will be able to receive breast exams, mammograms, Pap Smears and fecal tests for colorectal cancer. If an abnormal result is detected during the exam, eligible NY residents can receive diagnostic testing and will receive treatment referrals. The state also enrolls eligible residents in a Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program where they will be able to receive funding for their breast, prostate, colorectal or cervical cancer treatment.

NY residents who qualify can also learn more about legal and support services by calling this toll-free number. And, in many NY counties, mobile mammography vans are available for people who are unable to travel to get screened. In the capital area of Albany County, for example, residents can call the American Cancer Society at 518-454-4055 to learn more about free screenings at St. Peter’s Hospital, or call the Albany Law School for legal information (if they believe that their cancer is a result of an exposure sustained at work, etc.) at 518-445-3224. And residents of Albany County who are homebound or cannot drive can call 518-346-9560 to find out about the county’s Mobile Mammography program, offered through Ellis Hospital.

For information specific to every NY County, visit the state’s Community Programs List.

To find out about programs offered in your area, do an Internet search for “free cancer screenings” and include your city or state.

Have information about low-cost or free screenings in your area? Share what you know on our Facebook page – your experience and knowledge could save someone’s life!

Also, if you think that the information we’re providing is helpful, please hit the “Like” button right above the comment box. This helps us to understand which posts you find the most valuable, and which posts you weren’t too excited about. Your feedback is essential!


New York State Department of Health

2 Responses to “Low-cost or free cancer screenings make tests accessible to all”

  1. Thank you for share very good info. Your blog is great

  2. Shelly Childress says:

    Also, to add to this article. Anyone that has a child with high blood pressure and they do not know why, get him/her screened. My son had high blood pressure when he was 12. The doctor’s never looked into it. When he was diagnosed with cancer four years later, and when it came back a second time in a year and a half, they removed the tumor. His high blood pressure shot right back down to normal. The doctors DID link his high blood pressure to his cancer. So if you know anyone that has a child with high blood pressure of which there is no answer of as to why, like diet, etc., please get him/her checked out. It is linked to cancer as it was with my sons case.

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