According to the 2020 Pennsylvania LGBTQ+ Health Needs Assessment, many LGBTQ+ individuals never receive proper cancer screening services. For example, compared to the general population, LGBTQ+ individuals eligible for pap smears were more than 3 times as likely to never have one. A resource that is available to address this need is the PA Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (PA-BCCEDP), a program that provides free breast and cervical cancer screening to those who qualify including Pap tests, HPV tests, mammograms, and follow-up diagnostics for abnormal screening results. Clients must have income less than 250% of the federal poverty income guidelines, be uninsured or underinsured (high co-pays or deductibles) and live in Pennsylvania.
The age range for breast services is 40-64 and cervical services is 21-64. Younger high-risk clients may also be eligible. Transgender individuals may also be eligible. PA-BCCEDP does not cover the costs of HPV vaccines; however, the HPV vaccine is cervical cancer prevention. The vaccine is nearly 100% effective in preventing HPV-related cancers; it is recommended for ages 11-12 and is available for people up to 45 with clinician recommendation. Free HPV vaccines may be available for up to age 18 through the Pennsylvania Vaccines for Children Program. For more information regarding LGBTQ+ populations and cancer planning, please visit the National LGBT Cancer Network website.