Women's Health Check
- Ask Me
Breast and Cervical Cancer
References: Cervical Cancer. (2014, January 31). American Cancer Society. Retrieved June 19, 2014, from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer Breast Cancer. (2014, January 31). American Cancer Society. Retrieved June 19, 2014, from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer.
Why Should I Get Screened Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer.
Cervical Cancer: When cancer starts in the cervix, it is called cervical cancer. The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus. Also known as the womb, the uterus is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. The cervix connects the upper part of the uterus to the vagina (the birth canal).
All women are at risk for cervical cancer. It occurs most often in women over age 30. Each year, about 12,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer and about 4,000 women die from it.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. HPV is a common virus that is passed from one person to another during sex. At least half of sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives, but few women will get cervical cancer.
Most mammograms and Pap test results are normal. However, any problems found are much easier to treat when discovered early.
When to Get Screened?
If you are 50 to 74 years old, be sure to have a screening mammogram every two years. If you are 40 to 49 years old, talk to your doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram.
Cervical cancer is the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent, with regular screening tests and follow-up. Two screening tests that can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early are—
- The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for pre-cancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.
- The HPV test looks for the human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause these cell changes. A Pap test is recommended for all women between the ages of 21 and 65 years old, and can be done in a doctor's office or clinic.
Where to Get Screened
You can be screened for breast and cervical cancer throughout the State of Idaho. Locations include primary care, family practice or OB/Gyn offices for cervical cancer screening. Locations for breast cancer screenings include imaging centers, hospitals and mammography vans.
Women’s Health Check has agreements with more than 400 qualified Idaho providers including district health departments, clinics, tribal health facilities, gynecologists, and family practice doctors. You will be set up with an appointment following enrollment.
If you are a healthcare provider, please visit our "Provider Information" page to find out more about the WHC program, as well as information on becoming a WHC service provider.
Am I Eligible for Women's Health Check?
Prior to enrolling in WHC, a woman must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Low income (up to 200% federal poverty level) Click here for Income Eligibility Guidelines
- No health insurance coverage for Pap tests or mammograms
- U.S. citizen or eligible alien (having lived in the U.S. for 5 or more years)
- Age 50-64 for Pap test (every 3 years or every 5 years with HPV co-test), and annual mammogram and clinical breast exam
- Age 21-49 for Pap test (every 3 years or every 5 years with HPV co-test)
- Women over age 65 who are NOT eligible for Medicare, or cannot afford Medicare Part B are eligible for WHC screening
Exams and diagnostic tests are available from more than 400 qualified Idaho providers including district health departments, clinics, tribal health facilities, gynecologists, and family practice doctors following enrollment.
Enrollment is simple. Dial 2-1-1 or contact a Women’s Health Check enrollment center for information, and to learn if you qualify.
Women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer through WHC may qualify for treatment through a special Medicaid program, if they are enrolled in WHC prior to a tissue diagnosis.
Limited enrollment and services are available for uninsured women age 30+ who have symptoms suspicious of breast or cervical cancer, confirmed by a health care professional.
The WHC program is administered throughout the state by local coordinators. For more information or to find a coordinator in your area visit the "Enroll in WHC" tab or call the Idaho CareLine at 2-1-1.
How to Enroll in Women's Health Check
Women’s Health Check contracts with various healthcare providers throughout the state. For more information about Women’s Health Check, or to enroll in the program, please contact a Women’s Health Check Coordinator in your area:
To see if you qualify for free mammograms or Pap tests, contact Women's Health Check in the Twin Falls office at 737-5935, or call the Idaho Careline by dialing 211. If you live in another area of the state, call 1-800-926-2588 to find out about the Women's Health Check program in your area.
Panhandle Health District
Southwest District Health
Central District Health Department
South Central Public Health District
Southeastern Idaho Public Health
Eastern Idaho Public Health District
Family Medicine Residency of Idaho
Saint Alphonsus Breast Care Center
Local Women's Health Check coordinators will assist you with:
- Enrolling in the WHC program
- Setting up your screening appointments
- Follow up regarding your test results
"Ask Me" is a community-based education program utilizing volunteer partners to promote breast cancer screenings. The goal of the "Ask Me" program is to increase the number of women receiving mammograms.
- Volunteers will wear an apron or button/pin/sticker that has the "Ask Me" logo on them. When someone inquires about what "Ask Me" is or asks for information about breast cancer screenings, volunteers hand them a card with more information about breast cancer screenings.
Volunteers do not have to be an expert at breast cancer screenings. They will simply be telling the person that by calling the number on the card, they can receive more information about free breast cancer screenings for women who qualify financially.
Volunteers/Employers can choose how often they want to promote the "Ask Me" program. For example, one site might choose the first week of every month, while another site does the first Monday of every month. Another site might choose to do it for a whole month. There is flexibility in this program.
For more information about the "Ask Me" program, contact the program coordinator.
The following resources are available for information on cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, research and individual and family support options.
General Cancer Resources
|American Cancer Society||www.cancer.org|
|National Cancer Institute||www.cancer.gov|
|Susan G. Komen Foundation||www.komen.org|
Idaho Cancer Resources
Alliance of Idaho
|The Cancer Connection||www.cancerconnectionidaho.org|
|Operation Pink BAG||www.operationpinkbag.org|
- Screen for Life Detailed Facts on Screening
Pruebas de detección de cáncer colorrectal
- CDC Colorectal Cancer homepage
- American Cancer Society
- List of Local Colon Cancer Screening Providers