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We provide a way to pay for most breast and cervical cancer screenings for eligible North Dakota women.

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Who Is Eligible?

Women who may be eligible:

  • Live in North Dakota
  • Are ages 40 through 64
  • Are ages 21 through 39, have breast symptoms (lump) or at high risk for breast cancer, are due for a Pap test, or need breast or cervical diagnostic procedures
  • Have insurance that doesn’t cover Pap tests and/or mammograms or cannot afford to pay her deductible and/or co-payments or does not have insurance
  • Meet income guidelines (see table below)
 
# In Household Yearly
Income
Monthly
Income
1 Person $25,520 $2,126.67
2 People $34,480 $2,873.33
3 People $43,440 $3,620.00
4 People $52,400 $4,366.67
5 People $61,360 $5,113.33
6 People $70,320 $5,860.00
7 People $79,280 $6,606.67
8 People $88,240 $7,353.33

Each additional person adds $8,960 per year or $746.66 per month.

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Why should I get screened?

Regular checkups and cancer screenings are important to your health and could save your life. Women should get regular screenings for breast and cervical cancer.

 

Breast

 

Get a mammogram and clinical breast exam regularly.

  • As women age, the risk of getting breast cancer also increases. 85% women diagnosed with breast cancer have no known risk factors other than age.
  • Regular screening mammograms are the best method available to detect breast cancer early, when it is most treatable. A mammogram can find breast cancer before a lump can be felt. In some cases, finding a breast tumor early may mean that a woman can choose surgery that saves her breast, or she may not need chemotherapy.
  • Regular mammography screening can save lives. Research estimates show that if 10,000 women age 50 were screened every year for 10 years, about 37 lives would be saved.
  • The most thorough breast screening combines mammography and clinical breast exam. A breast exam by a doctor or nurse can find some cancers missed by mammography.

Benefits of Screening

  • Mammography is the best way to detect breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage — an average of 1.7 years before the woman can feel the lump. Mammography also locates cancer too small to be felt during a clinical breast examination.

Cervical

Get a Pap test and pelvic exam regularly.

  • A Pap test and/or HPV test are the best ways to find cervical cancer early so that it can be treated successfully. Through the Pap test, a health-care provider can check for abnormal cells and cancer cells on the cervix.
  • Risk of developing cervical cancer increases with age, especially in women past childbearing years. Pap tests are important because a woman usually doesn’t have any signs or symptoms of cervical cancer.

Benefits of Screening

  • The primary purpose of cervical cancer screening — which is performed by a Papanicolaou (Pap) test — is not to detect cancer but to find precancerous lesions. Detection and treatment of such lesions actually can prevent cervical cancer.

     

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    How often do I need to get screened?

    Breast Screens

    Mammography is the most effective screening tool used today to find breast cancer in most women. However, the benefits of mammography vary by age.

    • Women ages 40-44 should talk with their health care provider and together decide when to start getting mammograms.
    • Women ages 45-54 should receive annual mammograms.
    • Women 55 and older can switch to mammograms every two years, or can continue yearly screening. Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 years or longer.

    Cervical Screens

    Two tests are widely used to screen for cancer in the cervix:  the Pap test can find abnormal cells early, before they turn into cancer and the HPV test looks for the virus that is the main cause of cervical cancer.

    • All women should begin cervical cancer testing (screening) at age 21.
    • Women ages 21 to 29, should have a Pap test every 3 years. HPV testing should not be used for screening in this age group unless it is needed after an abnormal Pap test result.
    • Beginning at age 30, women should be screened with a Pap test combined with a HPV test every 5 years as long as the test results are normal. This is called co-testing and should continue until age 65. It is also a reasonable option for women ages 30 to 65 to get tested every 3 years with only the Pap test.
    What services are covered by Women's Way?

    Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnostic Services

    Women’s Way covers payment for program-enrolled women ages 40 through 64 for:

    • Annual screening mammogram.
    • Diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound or breast biopsy needed for diagnosis after an abnormal screening mammogram.

    Women’s Way covers payment for program-enrolled women ages 21 through 39 for:

    • Clinical breast exam to determine if there is a breast abnormality.
    • Mammogram or breast ultrasound ONLY if a breast abnormality is found and documented by a health care provider.
    • Breast diagnostic services.

    Cervical Cancer Screening and Diagnostic Services

    Women’s Way covers payment for program-enrolled women ages 40 through 64 for:

    • Pap test every three years or every five years with combination of Pap test and HPV testing for women who want to lengthen the screening interval.
    • Annual Pap tests for high-risk populations which include women with exposure in utero to diethylstilbestrol or those who have HIV or weakened immune system who require more frequent screening.
    • Pap tests for women with total hysterectomies with removal of the cervix due to cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2 or 3 or cervical cancer.
    • Repeat Pap tests needed for follow-up of an abnormal Pap test.

    Women’s Way covers payment for program-enrolled women ages 21 through 39 for:

    • Pap test, if due or past due for screening according to the current USPSTF Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines – has not had a Pap test within the last 3 to 5 years.
    • Pap test as a follow-up to a previous abnormal result.
    • HPV test (women ages 21-29) only if the woman has had a documented abnormal Pap test and HPV test is indicated according to the ASCCP guideline.
    • HPV test (women ages 30-39) as part of co-testing along with Pap test or if needed due to an abnormal Pap test result.
    • Cervical diagnostic services.

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    How do I enroll?

    Enrolling in Women’s Way is easy. Simply click on the button below, and the Women’s Way contact information will be displayed for the Women’s Way contact or enrollment site in your area. The listed contact can answer any questions you may have about screenings or Women’s Way.

     

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    FAQs

    How do I know if I’m eligible?

    Call 1-800-44 WOMEN (1-800-449-6636) or 701-328-3398 to find out if you are eligible. Eligibility is determined by age, income and insurance status.

    How do I sign up for this program?

    Call 1-800-44 WOMEN (1-800-449-6636) or 701-328-3398 and a nurse will answer all your questions about enrollment and eligibility. The nurse also will set up an appointment for you to visit a Women’s Way office in your area for enrollment. If you are unable to travel to the nearest office, the enrollment may be done over the telephone.

    What do I have to bring to my appointment?

    Remember to take your enrollment card to the facility. Show the card to the receptionist before your appointment so that Women’s Way will be billed for your exam.  If you have health insurance, show that card also.

    Do I have to go to a specific doctor?

    You may choose from any enrolled clinic that provides Women’s Way services, which may include your clinic and health-care provider.

    Do mammograms hurt?

    Mammograms may be slightly uncomfortable due to the compression needed to get the most accurate picture. If you find the mammogram too uncomfortable, feel free to talk with the radiology technologist performing the exam about your discomfort.

    What else does the program pay for?

    Specific diagnostic tests are covered by Women’s Way, depending upon your screening exam results. These services include breast ultrasound, diagnostic mammograms, fine needle aspiration or biopsy of a breast lump, and cervical colposcopy with or without biopsy.

    What do I do if I have cancer?

    If you are diagnosed with cancer, your Women’s Way local coordinator and your health-care provider will work together to assist you with finding treatment options.

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    Last reviewed 9/23/2020