COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Qualifying women in South Carolina can get free breast and cervical cancer screenings through a program provided by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

DHEC’s Best Chance Network program is providing free screenings for qualifying women between the ages of 30 and 64 and free cervical cancer screenings for women between the ages of 21 and 64 whose household incomes are at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Limit.

“We’re especially focused on providing free screenings to women who otherwise may not receive them because of costs, insurance limitations, access to care or other barriers,” said Michael Dickey, Director of DHEC’s Cancer Division. “By reducing these disparities, we can help ensure all South Carolina women receive routine screenings, which can help save lives.” 

In addition, women with insurance are also eligible to receive services if their deductibles are $1,000 or more and do not cover screening or diagnostic services at 100%, or provide hospitalization coverage only – given that they meet all of the other eligibility requirements, DHEC said.

The screenings cover office visits at a nearby health care provider, a clinical breast exam, pelvic exam, mammogram, Pap test/human papillomavirus (HPV) test, diagnostic testing for women with abnormal screening results, follow-ups and support services, and education resources.

“Since 1991, when the Best Chance Network began, we’ve provided more than 321,738 free breast and cervical cancer screenings to South Carolina women through our partnerships with more than 450 health care providers around the state,” said Virginie Daguise, Ph.D., Director of DHEC’s Bureau of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention. “We encourage everyone to talk to their mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, friend, or any woman about how routine breast cancer screenings truly can be lifesaving.”

More information on DHEC’s Best Chance Network, prevention, and statistics can be found at scdhec.gov/breastcancer.