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Organization Information

Planned Parenthood of Illinois


Through access to medical services and health education we enable individuals to make informed and responsible reproductive choices and decisions.

Real Life

Though cervical cancer can be easily treated if caught early, many women can't access lifesaving detection and treatment services. Government "Title X" funding covers cervical cancer detection services, but not treatment, leaving low-income women at risk for developing cervical cancer. This case reflects Planned Parenthood's efforts to provide these services to women who would otherwise fall through the cracks.

An unemployed mother of two came to Planned Parenthood for her annual Pap. The results showed cervical cell abnormalities and indicated the need for a colposcopy, a detection procedure that allows for a closer look at the cervix. The colposcopy revealed the patient had mild to moderate dysplasia, a condition that, if left unchecked, could develop into cervical cancer. Clinic staff suspected that her health was more threatened than the test indicated and recommended that she have the more aggressive of the two cervical cancer treatments. After strenuous follow-up efforts, the patient came in for the treatment and the cost was reduced from $1,500 to $75, a rate the patient could afford. The treatment revealed severe dysplasia, also known as cancer in situ ("cancer in site"). The patient followed up with her full treatment and avoided developing invasive cervical cancer.