Medicare & You: Cervical cancer

Medicare & You: Cervical cancer


Hi, I’m Angela James with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. I’ve got some important information to share with you about cervical cancer. January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Did you know that all women are at risk of cervical cancer? And, did you know that it occurs most often in women over the age of 30? In fact, every year, about 12 thousand women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer. But, with regular screening tests and follow up, cervical cancer is the easiest female cancer to prevent – and Medicare can help. So here’s how: Medicare Part B covers 2 types of screening tests to help prevent cervical cancer, or find it early when treatment can work best: First, the Pap test looks for pre-cancerous cells on the cervix. These might become cervical cancer if they’re not treated. The second test is the HPV test. It looks for the human papillomavirus – the virus that can cause cells to become cancerous. Even though the Pap test is recommended for all women between 21 and 65 years old, it’s covered for all women with Medicare. If you’re wondering how often you can get a Pap test or pelvic exam, Medicare Part B covers these tests: Once every 24 months for all women; Once every 12 months if you’re at high risk for cervical or vaginal cancer; Or if you’re of childbearing age and you have had an abnormal Pap test in the past 36 months. The best part? You pay nothing for the doctor visit which includes the lab test, specimen collection and pelvic exam as long as the doctor accepts the assignment. To find out about these and other preventive benefits available visit Medicare.gov.

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