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State Suspends Cancer Screenings For Low-Income Women

Audio

Aired 7/14/10

A program offering breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income women is now on hold; the budget stalemate in Sacramento is to blame. About 6,200 women in San Diego County use the program every year.

— A program offering breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income women is now on hold; the budget stalemate in Sacramento is to blame. About 6,200 women in San Diego County use the program every year.

The Every Woman Counts program has provided poor women with mammograms and pap smears for almost 20 years. It's funded by a combination of federal grants and tobacco tax money.

Laura Farmer Sherman directs the non-profit Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure in San Diego. She says California's budget impasse is preventing many women from getting cancer screenings.

"Those women might go undetected," Farmer Sherman said, "and will be diagnosed at a later stage, have more dire outcomes, and cost the state, frankly, a lot more money."

Farmer Sherman says early detection is the key to surviving cancer. State health officials say they're trying to restart the program.

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