What is the Every Woman Counts (EWC) program?
The Every Woman Counts program provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings and follow-up services. This includes clinical breast exams, mammograms and Pap tests to eligible women in San Diego County.
As women get older, especially after the age of 50, the chance of getting breast and cervical cancer goes up. Women should be screened regularly for breast and cervical cancer by a doctor.
EWC is a program offered through the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).
Q Why should you get a breast cancer screening?+
- Breast exams help the doctor see or feel any changes in your breasts.
- Mammograms can find breast cancer that is too small for you or your doctor to feel.
- When breast cancer is found early, it is easier to treat.
Q How often should you get a breast cancer screening?+
If you’re 40 years of age or older, talk to your doctor about when and how often you should be screened for breast cancer.
Q What are the warning signs and/or symptoms of breast cancer?+
- Lump, mass or swelling in the breast or underarm;
- Changes in size or shape of the breast;
- Change in skin texture and color (dimpling, puckering, redness, scaly skin or thickening) of the breast or nipple;
- Nipple retraction or inversion;
- Nipple discharge; and/or
- Breast pain
Q What is a cervical cancer screening?+
- Cervical cancer screening tests are the Pap test and the HPV test.
- The Pap test looks for cell changes in the cervix that may lead to cancer.
- The HPV test looks for the virus that can cause cell changes in the cervix.
- Treating these cell changes can prevent cervical cancer.
Q How often should you get a cervical cancer screening?+
The Every Woman Counts program offers free Pap tests to women age 21 and older who qualify, and then every three years if the results are normal. Women 30 years and older may choose to have a Pap test along with an HPV test if she wants to increase screening to five years. If both results are normal, the chance of getting cervical cancer in the next few years is very low.
Q What free services does the Every Woman Counts program offer?+
- Pap tests to women age 21 years and older.
- Pap & HPV co-testing to women age 30 years and older.
- Clinical breast exams and mammograms to women age 40 years and older.
- Breast cancer testing to women with symptoms under 40 years old.
- Follow-up tests if needed.
To qualify for these free tests, you must:
- Live in San Diego County.
- Meet the age requirements.
- Have no insurance or limited health insurance.
- Have health insurance with a co-payment or deductible you cannot afford.
- Have low household income (EWC Income Criteria).
For more information, or to see if you qualify, please call (619) 515-2300 or fill out the form below.