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Community Health Data Base
An Information Service of the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation

Women without health insurance receive fewer cancer screenings
Friday. May 7, 2004

PHILADELPHIA, PA, May 2004 —When it comes to receiving cancer screenings, women in Southeastern Pennsylvania without health insurance are two or more times less likely to get screened for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer than women with insurance. These are some of the findings uncovered recently by the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation (PHMC), a nonprofit public health agency in Center City Philadelphia.
According to PHMC’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, uninsured women are more than twice as likely as insured women to not have had a Pap test in the past two years (32.9% and 15.7%, respectively). Uninsured women are also twice as likely to not have had either a clinical breast exam (47.9%) or mammogram (63.7%) in the recommended time compared to insured women (22.6% and 31.6%). Seventy percent of uninsured women have not had a blood stool test and 84.2% have not had a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy in the recommended time compared to only 40.4% and 53.3% of insured women.

More than 10,000 interviews were conducted by telephone in the summer of 2002 in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties. The next survey will be conducted starting this June. PHMC is a United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania member agency. Additional Survey findings are located online at