HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Battling cancer is stressful enough, but not having the resources to afford critical treatment can be overwhelming.
"My heart fell to my stomach,” Teresa Stanley said.
Stanley was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2012. At the time, she had been laid off and didn’t have health insurance. One of her immediate concerns was being able to afford treatment.
"I did not think that I would be taken care of. I didn't think that I would be able to go to the doctor. If it was cancer, I didn't think that I would be able to have surgery,” Stanley said.
But Stanley had options. Her doctor told her about North Carolina’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP).
"They are blown out of the water with the diagnosis then I'm sure their next thought is ‘how am I going to pay for this?’ And we're able to come up and say, don't worry we have a mechanism for that," Danette Canup, manager of radiation oncology and the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program at High Point Regional, said.
The program provides breast cancer screenings including mammograms to women who are uninsured or underinsured and are without Medicare Part B or Medicaid.
"If a patient has a lump or problem in their breasts which is diagnosed through the mammogram, we may also pay for an ultrasound and we'll send the patient to a surgeon,” Canup said.
Since High Point Regional began offering the program in February 2012, it’s estimated around 1,200 women have received critical services that they otherwise may not have been able to afford.
Stanley’s initial surgery and preventative treatments have been covered by BCCCP. Today, she is cancer free.
"I think if I had not had everything to move as fast as it had, I may not be here today."
High Point Regional receives a set amount of funding from the state, but has been able to serve additional women through outside donations.
Other eligibility requirements are based on age and income. Call 336-878-6037 to learn how to qualify for the program.