Best Chance Network Provides Cancer Screening for South Carolina Women
The South Carolina Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program
Who We Are: The goal of the Best Chance Network (BCN) program is to reduce mortality from breast and cervical cancer among medically underserved women in South Carolina. The BCN helps women who need to be screened for breast and cervical cancer, but do not have insurance or have insurance that only covers hospital care, are between the ages of 47 and 64, and meet the income guidelines listed below.
The BCN is funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. The CDC has provided funds for the National Breast and Cervical Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) since 1991. South Carolina was one of the first states to take part in the NBCCEDP in 1991.
What We Do: BCN provides free screenings for breast and cervical cancer to women who meet the eligibility guidelines. Below is a list of the comprehensive breast and cervical cancer services that BCN offers:
Screening services: clinical breast exams, pelvic exams, Pap tests (if needed) and mammograms
Some diagnostic procedures
Community education on breast/cervical cancer and early detection
How Do We Do This: BCN is a network of public and private partnerships. More than 200 health care providers: including federally-funded primary care centers in the SC Primary Health Care Association; private physicians, including surgeons and gynecologists; laboratories, university sponsored clinics, free clinics, regional medical centers and radiology facilities provide screening and follow up services. ACS Outreach Workers, volunteers, community partners and members of local task forces also assist women in referring women to screening sites.
In 1995, The American Cancer Society (ACS), South Atlantic Division, joined with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to provide the coordination of BCN services with providers, including professional development, and outreach and recruitment of eligible women into the program. DHEC oversees BCN administration and management, contractual agreements for screening and follow-up services, case management, quality assurance, tracking surveillance and program evaluation. In October 2000, Congress passed the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act, providing federal matching funds for treatment of women screened through the CDC program. Since 2001, South Carolina has allocated state funds to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to participate. Women screened through BCN are eligible to apply for Medicaid coverage for treatment of breast and cervical cancer. In July 2005, the State Legislature appropriated additional funding to expand the Medicaid coverage for breast and cervical treatment to women who are under the age of 65 and who are not enrolled in the BCN program and who meet the income and insurance guidelines outlined in the table above. Guidelines and applications can be found at www.dhhs.state.sc.us. If you have questions or need help in completing the Medicaid application you may call 1-888-549-0820.
If you think either you or someone you know may qualify for these services, please call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 and ask about the South Carolina Best Chance Network.