South Carolina granted $2 million last Tuesday towards expanding the Best Chance Network (BCN), a state program that provides low-income and uninsured women with breast and cervical cancer screenings. According to the Charlotte Observer, the funding will allow an additional 9,000 women to receive free cancer screenings starting in September.
This is the first time the BCN, administered through the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has received state funding, allowing the program to expand testing to eligible women as young as 40. The DHEC reports that the state ranks 9 nationwide for deaths from cervical and has one of the highest rates of uninsured women. Breast cancer is also the most commonly diagnosed cancers in South Carolina, killing nearly 1,000 women annually, according to the Charlotte Observer. Early detection of both cancers significantly increased the survival rate.
The state contribution was granted on a one-time bases, but advocates have pledged to keep fighting, according to The State.