Free Cervical Cancer Screening for Uninsured

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (January 8, 2024) – The Cancer Services Program (CSP) of the Southern Tier urges women to get screened for cervical cancer. The CSP is supported with funds from the State of New York and offers screening to women ages 40 and older without insurance. New York State data show women without health insurance are less likely to get some life-saving preventive care services, like cancer screenings.

“Our program can help close the cervical cancer screening gap for women without insurance,”
said Laura Kelly, Program Coordinator. “According to the most recent New York State data (2020), about 69% of women without insurance have had a Pap test within the past three years, compared to roughly 85% of women with health insurance.”

This screening gap puts women without insurance at higher risk for cervical cancer. Cervical
cancer is most often found in women who rarely get screened or have never been screened.
Unlike many other cancers, cervical cancer can be prevented. Screening tests can help prevent
cervical cancer by finding the cells that lead to cancer. Those cells can then be removed before
cancer starts. Screening can also find cancer early, when treatment may be most effective.
Cervical cancer does not usually have symptoms in the beginning, which makes regular
screening the key to an early diagnosis.

In addition, most cervical cancers are caused by the human papilloma virus, or HPV. Being
vaccinated against HPV can also prevent cervical cancer, as well as other cancers.

“Some women are at higher risk for cervical cancer. Women who smoke are about twice as
likely to get cervical cancer compared to non-smokers, and cervical cancer is more often found
in women over the age of 30. We encourage women not to delay their screening and to talk to
their doctor or call the Cancer Services Program,” said Kelly.

For more information about risk factors for cervical cancer, visit

To find a Cancer Services Program in your community, call the Cancer Services Program of the
Southern Tier at (607) 778-3900.
For information about insurance options, visit the New York State of Health: The Official Health
Plan Marketplace at or call 1-855-355-5777.

Publish Date
January 8, 2024