(COLORADO SPRINGS) — In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the State of Colorado is promoting early detection by offering life-saving mammograms to qualified individuals through the Women’s Wellness Connection program.

“We want people to know their risk for breast cancer, how to reduce that risk, and when to get a mammogram. We also want to make sure they know where they can get a mammogram,” said Emily Kinsella, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Women’s Wellness Connection section manager. “The Women’s Wellness Connection program exists so that cost, lack of health insurance, or immigration status don’t get in the way of individuals getting these crucial screenings to protect their health.”

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), more than 5,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the state of Colorado. Additionally, only 37% of uninsured women were up to date with breast cancer screening in 2019, compared to 70% of privately insured women nationwide, according to the American Cancer Society.

One in eight women will get breast cancer in their lifetime, but the good news is that nearly everyone can survive breast cancer when it is caught in the early stages.

The Women’s Wellness Connection program serves individuals ages 21 to 64 without health insurance or limited insurance and with demonstrated financial need. In addition to breast cancer screenings, the program provides free Pap tests to check for cervical cancer. To find out more about the program, visit women’s wellness connection.org.

Those interested can also call the American Cancer Society at 1-866-951-9355 for help finding a clinic that offers free or low-cost cancer screenings as part of the Women’s Wellness Connection program near them.

“We know that finding cancer early can make a huge difference in treatment and outcome,” said Kinsella. “We also know that in recent years, during the pandemic, many got behind on routine cancer screenings. Making sure we all get caught up on mammograms will save lives.”