Women's Health Check
- What is
Women's Health Check (WHC)
Women's Health Check has saved thousands of lives in Idaho. This is free service to those who qualify. Please do not pass up this opportunity. See if you qualify, click here!
Women’s Health Check (WHC) is funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). Since 1996, WHC has collaborated with other programs and agencies across Idaho to plan and coordinate public and professional education designed to increase screening rates for breast and cervical cancer.
Women’s Health Check helps low-income, uninsured, and under-insured women gain access to breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services.
These services include—
- Clinical breast examinations.
- Pap tests.
- Pelvic examinations.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) tests.
- Diagnostic testing if results are abnormal.
- Referrals to treatment.
- See if you qualify, click here!
The WHC program is administered throughout Idaho by local coordinators, to find a coordinator in your area visit the "Enroll in WHC" tab or call the Idaho CareLine at 2-1-1.
References: Cervical Cancer. (2014, January 31). American Cancer Society. Retrieved June 19, 2014, from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervical cancer Breast Cancer. (2014, January 31). American Cancer Society. Retrieved June 19, 2014, from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast cancer.
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
- See if you qualify, click here!
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, begin enrollment (click here!) or 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 (Hayden)||Gail Turley||(208) 415-5293|
|Southwest District Health (Caldwell)||Debbie Dobbs||(208) 365-6371 x21|
|Central District Health Department (Boise)||Sonja Redden||(208) 327-8608|
|South Central Public Health District (Twin Falls)||Tami Craig||(208) 737-5935|
|Southeastern Idaho Public Health (Pocatello)||Darlene Lester||(208) 239-5290|
|Eastern Idaho Public Health District (Idaho Falls)||Lucy Castaneda||(208) 533-3209|
|Terry Reilly (Nampa)||Shaunna Johnson||(208) 318-1276|
|Family Medicine Residency of Idaho (Boise)||Tonya Bowers||(208) 954-8718|
|Saint Alphonsus Breast Care Center (Boise)||Debbie Sager||(208) 367-8332|
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
What is Breast Cancer?
Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the breast, it is called breast cancer. Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. A breast is made up of three main parts: glands, ducts, and connective tissue. The glands produce milk. The ducts are passages that carry milk to the nipple. The connective tissue (which consists of fibrous and fatty tissue) connects and holds everything together.
Lumps in the Breast
Many conditions can cause lumps in the breast, including cancer. But most breast lumps are caused by other medical conditions. The two most common causes of breast lumps are fibrocystic breast condition and cysts. Fibrocystic condition causes noncancerous changes in the breast that can make them lumpy, tender, and sore. Cysts are small fluid-filled sacs that can develop in the breast.
What Is a Normal Breast?
No breast is typical. What is normal for you may not be normal for another woman. Most women say their breasts feel lumpy or uneven. The way your breasts look and feel can be affected by getting your period, having children, losing or gaining weight, and taking certain medications. Breasts also tend to change as you age. For more information, see the National Cancer Institute’s Understanding Breast Changes: A Health Guide for Women.
Why Should I Get Screened for 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 precancers, 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.
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|