Iowa Care for Yourself a well-kept secret in women’s health

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The Iowa Care for Yourself program has been around for years, but many women who could participate have never heard of it.

The program is for women ages 40-65 who are income-eligible and do not have insurance coverage for breast cancer screenings and cervical cancer screenings, also called mammograms and PAP tests.

What does income-eligible and without insurance coverage mean? It means that if you are within the income guidelines and you either have no health insurance or your insurance does not cover mammograms and PAP tests, then you qualify for the Care for Yourself program.

If you think that you may be eligible for this program, please call Health Navigation at the Dallas County Health Department at 515-993-3557.

The Care for Yourself plan is accepted as payment at many area clinics, so you may be able to have the PAP test at your primary clinic.

Breast cancer can happen at any age, but it becomes more common as women mature, especially if she has a family history of breast cancer.

Women who have used estrogen and progestin hormone therapy are at greater risk of breast cancer, as are those who are overweight, especially after menopause.

Women who drink alcohol, and women who smoke or are exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to get breast cancer.

For more information, visit the Iowa Care for Yourself program website.

Ann Cochran is the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.

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