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Health and Family Services Cabinet
KWSCP Conference Brings Women’s Health to the Forefront

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, May 16, 2006  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Beth Crace, (502) 564-6786  

The Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program, a part of the Department for Public Health, is asking women in Kentucky “What’s your number?”

The program, which provides low-cost mammograms and Pap tests through local health departments, wants more women in Kentucky to receive these vital health screenings, specifically targeting women who are age 40 and older who have not had an exam for five years or more or who have never been screened. According to DPH, approximately 60 percent of all women who die of cervical cancer have either never been screened or have not been screened in the past five years.

“If your number is five or more, it’s time to talk to a health care provider about scheduling a mammogram and Pap test,” said KWSCP Recruitment Coordinator Brenda Combs. “In the fight to protect our health, women can’t afford to forgo yearly screenings that can detect breast and cervical cancer early on. This is the best weapon we have for successful treatment.”

KWSCP staff, cancer program specialists, representatives from local health departments and other stakeholders will gather May 17-18 at the Sheraton Suites in Lexington to share ideas and learn new ways to ensure more women are screened. The conference, an annual event, will feature speakers from across the state who will address the latest issues connected to women’s health and strategies to promote KWSCP.

“The Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program provides a vital service and is a crucial piece in improving the status of women’s health in the commonwealth,” said Acting Undersecretary for Health William D. Hacker, M.D. “With today’s advances in medical treatment, survival rates for breast and cervical cancer continue to rise. The KWSCP is helping more and more women receive these necessary screenings that can detect these diseases early on, when treatment is most effective.”

Women who don’t have health insurance or can’t afford a screening should call 1-800-4CANCER to see if the Kentucky Women’s Cancer Program can be of assistance. Here are some additional facts about the program:
· Three factors are used to determine eligibility for breast cancer screening, including age (21 -64); uninsured (no Medicaid, no Medicare, no private insurance); and an income less than 250 percent of federal poverty guidelines.
· KWCSP offers low-cost mammograms and Pap tests through local health departments in every county.
· Appointments can be made by calling your local health department or 1-800-4CANCER.
· Low-cost annual Pap tests are provided to uninsured women at or below 250 percent of the poverty level beginning three years after the onset of sexual activity or no later than 21 years of age.
· Women 40 to 64 who meet guidelines are eligible for screenings every year.
· Women younger than 40 are eligible to receive screening services if they have a family history of breast cancer.
· The program, part of CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, also provides diagnostic services and, if cancer or pre-cancer is found, treatment services are available.



Last Updated 5/16/2006