Breast Cancer

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Women should receive regular screenings to promote the early detection and treatment of breast cancer.

Screening Recommendations

  • All women: Know the benefits, limitations, and potential harms linked to breast cancer screening, including family history and risk factors. Learn how to conduct a monthly self-breast exam and contact your health care provider if you are under age 40 and notice any of these signs.
  • Women ages 40 to 44: Discuss breast cancer screening, including mammograms (x-rays of the breast), with your health care provider.
  • Women ages 45 to 54: Schedule a yearly mammogram with your health care provider, or with your local county health department if you qualify for Florida Department of Health’s Florida Early Detection Program.
  • Women 55 and older: Can switch to mammograms every two years or continue annual screening. Screenings should continue, as long as you are in good health.

If you do not have access to a health care provider, you may be able to receive free or low-cost screenings through the Florida Department of Health’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.

MALE breast cancer

Although rare, men can also develop breast cancer. In 2019, only 193 men in Florida were diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to 19,060 women (Source: Florida Cancer Data System). Contact a health care professional as soon as possible if you notice any changes in your breasts.

According to the American Cancer Society, changes to watch for include:

  • a lump or swelling, which is often (but not always) painless;
  • skin dimpling or puckering;
  • nipple retraction (turning inward);
  • redness or scaling of the nipple or breast skin; or
  • discharge from the nipple.

Non-Hispanic Black men and men over 80 years old are reported to have the highest incidence and death rates of male breast cancer. (Source: CDC). Be proactive when it comes to your health. Talk with your doctor about the benefits of breast cancer screening.

Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program

The Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program promotes early monitoring and treatment of cancer by encouraging all women to receive regular screenings.

If you do not have access to a health care provider, you may be able to receive free or low-cost screenings through the Early Detection Program. The care of most women diagnosed under this program is supported by Florida Medicaid. The program is structured to reach women in each county, across the state.

Florida’s Early Detection Program offers services such as:

  • Breast and cervical cancer screening (clinical breast exams, mammograms, and pap-smear tests).
  • Diagnostic testing for women with abnormal screening results.
  • Care coordination for all women with abnormal exams.
  • Florida Medicaid eligibility referral for women screened and diagnosed with cancer through the Early Detection Program.

Screening Eligibility

The eligibility requirements for women to be screened by the program include ALL of the following:

  • Florida resident.
  • Aged 50-64.
  • At or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • Underinsured or uninsured.
  • Women younger than 50 years old who are symptomatic, have a family history of breast cancer, meet the eligibility requirements for poverty level, or underinsured or uninsured.
DOH’s Florida Early Detection Program partners with mobile ‘Mammovan’ providers to address the limited access to health care providers, imaging facilities, and transportation for women to access services in Florida’s rural counties.

Women who have been diagnosed with cancer through the Early Detection Program are provided care coordination and Medicaid enrollment assistance through the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Women who are not eligible for the Early Detection Program are directed to screening, diagnostic, and treatment services in their local community. National organizations, such as the Susan G. Komen and the American Breast Cancer Foundation, provide breast cancer screening in some Florida locations for both men and women in need of financial assistance.

Learn about Post Screening Medicaid Eligibility