Health and Family Services Cabinet
CHFS to Offer Mammograms for Rarely Screened Women
Three programs within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services have joined forces to provide mammograms in remote areas of the state, where many women are rarely screened for breast cancer.
A mobile mammography van will set up at local health departments in Magoffin, Martin and Wolfe counties to provide screenings for Medicaid recipients or women who do not have health insurance and cannot pay for a mammogram.
“Breast cancer has touched the lives of so many women and their families,” said Kentucky First Lady Glenna Fletcher. “Efforts like these not only provide greater access and raise awareness, but more importantly save lives.”
The Division of Women’s Physical and Mental Health in the Department for Human Support Services provided funding for the project, working with the Department for Medicaid Services and the Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program in the Department for Public Health.
“This has truly been a collaborative effort to reach out to women who have never been or are rarely screened for breast cancer,” said Nancy LeFevers, a nurse consultant/inspector with the Department for Medicaid Services. “I, along with my colleagues from Human Support Services and the Department for Public Health, strongly encourage all women who qualify to take advantage of this opportunity.”
For participants enrolled in a health care program such as Medicaid, Medicare or other insurance, screenings will be billed. Costs for those without medical coverage will be paid by the project.
Screenings will take place Sept. 13-15:
· Sept. 13, Magoffin County Health Department, (606) 349-6212
· Sept. 14, Martin County Health Department, (606) 298-7752
· Sept. 15, Wolfe County Health Department, (606) 668-3185
According to the 2002-03 Kentucky Breast Cancer Status Report issued by the Kentucky Breast Cancer Task Force, breast cancer incidence rates in both Kentucky and the nation are declining. Kentucky’s incidence of early stage disease is lower than the national rate. However, the rate of late-stage disease detection in Kentucky exceeds the national rate, as it has since the mid-1990s.
“We are committed to reducing the number of women diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer,” said William Hacker, M.D., acting undersecretary for health and public health commissioner. “This is a wonderful project that will help us reach more women across the state. I strongly encourage those who qualify to be proactive about their health and take advantage of this opportunity.”
The National Cancer Institute and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend women in their 40s and older have mammograms every one to two years. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services also encourages women who fall into this age group or have a family history of the disease to get regular screenings that detect breast cancer early on, when it is most treatable.
“Although there currently is no cure for breast cancer, treatment is more likely to be effective when detected early,” said Joyce Jennings, director of the Division of Women’s Physical and Mental Health. “That’s why early screenings are so important.”