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What It Is

​The Kentucky Women's Cancer Screening Program is a federally funded, public health program providing free or low-cost breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnositic services to eligibe women in Kentucky. Services like mammograms and Pap tests are offered through local health departments and participating clinics around the state.

Screening eligibility requirements

Women ages 21 and older

Houldhold income at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level

No health insurance including Medicaid and Medicacre Part B

Where do I find a provider?

KWCSP providers are located across the commonwealth. To find the provider nearest you call toll free (844) 249-0708

When should screening begin?

While when and whether to get breast and cervical cancer screening is a personal choice, significant body of medical evidence shows early detection is a primary factor in the successful treatment of breast and cervical cancer. Recommended screening schedules are:

Breast cancer screening

  • Ages 40-49: Women in this age group may choose to begin getting mammograms every two years.
  • Ages 50-74: Screening mammograms every other year should begin by age 50.

Note: Women with certain risk factors should consider getting mammogram screening at an earlier age and more frequently. Ask your healthcare provider when the best time is for you to begin and maintain regular screenings.

Cervical Cancer Screening

  • Ages 21-29: Pap test every three years
  • Ages 30-65: Women in this age group may choose to get a Pap test every three years, a primary human papillomavirus test every five years or both tests every five years

Note: Women with certain risk factors or abnormal screening tests may need to be screened more often and/or screened beyond age 65. Ask your helthcare provider how often you should have a cervical cancer screening.


Understanding Breast Cancer Treatment: A Guide for Patients is a booklet developed by the National Cancer Institute to help women diagnosed with breast cancer make treatment decisions. The booklet can be obtained by calling  the Cancer Information Service at toll free at (800) 4-CANCER/(800) 422-6237)

Providers Practice Prevention

Contact:  Kris Paul, MSN, APRN
University of Louisville Kentucky Cancer Program
501 E. Broadway, Suite 160
Louisville, KY 40202
Phone: 502-852-6318
Fax 502-852-4554

​Breast cancer forms in tissues of the breast. It occurs in both men and women, although male breast cancer is rare. 

The American Cancer Society estimates for 2011: 

  • New cases: 230,480 (female) 
  • Carcinoma in situ (CIS): 57,650
  • Deaths: 39,520 (female) 

Everyone, especially women, between the ages of 21 to 64 years should do monthly breast self-examinations. Studies show that regular breast self-exams combined with annual exams by a health care provider, improves the chances of detecting cancer early. The more you examine your breasts, the more easily changes will be detected. Breast self-exam is an essential part of taking care of yourself.

Risk Factors

A risk factor increases your chances of having a disease. Simply being a woman is the main risk for breast cancer. While men also get the disease, it is about 100 times more common in women than in men.


Your chances of getting breast cancer will increase with age. About two out of three women with invasive breast cancer are age 55 or older when the cancer is found.

Family History

Breast cancer risk is higher among women with close blood relatives from either the mother or father's side of the family who have or had this disease. Having a mother, sister or daughter with breast cancer about doubles a woman's risk. Genetic mutations are linked to 5 to 10% of breast cancers. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the most common. Women can have a blood test preformed to see if they are positive for this gene. It's important to note that 70 - 80 percent of women who get breast cancer do not have a family history of this disease.

Early periods/late menopause

Women who began having periods before age 12 or who went through menopause after the age of 55 have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.

Previous Breast Cancer 

If you have had cancer in one breast your chances increase of having it in the other breast.


White women are slightly more likely to get breast cancer than are black women, but black women are more likely to die of this cancer. Asian, Hispanic and Native American women have a lower risk of getting and dying from breast cancer.

Dense Breast Tissue

Dense breast tissue means there is more gland tissue and less fatty tissue. Women with denser breast tissue have a higher risk of breast cancer. Dense breast tissue can also make it harder for health care providers to spot problems on mammograms.

Alcohol use

Use of alcohol is clearly linked to an increased risk of getting breast cancer. Women who have one drink a day have a very small increased risk. Those who have two to five drinks daily have about 1½ times the risk of women who drink no alcohol. The American Cancer Society suggests limiting the amount you drink.


Being overweight or obese after menopause increases one's risk. The American Cancer Society recommends you maintain a healthy weight throughout your life and avoid gaining too much weight.

Signs and Symptoms

Generally, early breast cancer does not cause pain. Even so, a woman should see her health care provider about breast pain or any other symptom that does not go away.

A change in how the breast or nipple feels - You may experience nipple tenderness or notice a lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area.

A change in how the breast or nipple looks - This could mean a change in the size or shape of the breast or a nipple that is turned slightly inward. In addition, the skin of the breast, areola or nipple may appear scaly, red or swollen or may have ridges or pitting that resembles the skin of an orange.

What Can You Do?

Mammograms play a key role in helping to diagnose breast cancer. A routine mammogram should start at least by the age of 40 or at your health care provider's discretion or when there are changes noted in your breast.

A clinical breast examination should be done by age 20 and at least every three years when you have a physical examination with your health care provider.

Changes in your breast may or may not be cancerous but early detection of a lump can be a measure in helping you along the road to diagnosis and treatment if needed.

​The cervix is the lower part of the uterus. The body of the uterus (the upper part) is where a baby grows, The cervix connects the body of the uterus to the vagina (birth canal). The goal of screening for cervical cancer is to find cervix cell changes and early cervical cancers before they cause symptoms.

Screening tests offer the best chance to detect cervical cancer at an early stage when successful treatment is likely. Screening can also actually prevent most cervical cancers by finding abnormal cervix cell changes (pre-cancers) so that they can be treated before they have a chance to turn into a cervical cancer. The Pap test is the best way we have to screen for this type of cancer.

Risk Factors

  • multiple sex partners
  • human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  • smoking or exposure to second hand smoke
  • HIV infection
  • chlamydia infection
  • dietary factors
  • hormonal contraception
  • multiple pregnancies
  • exposure before birth to the hormonal drug diethylstilbestrol (DES)
  • a family history of cervical cancer

What Can You Do?

A Pap test can find changes in the cervix that can be treated before they become cancer. The Pap test is also very effective in finding cervical cancer early, when it is highly curable. Contact your Local Health Department or health care provider for an appointment today.

Pap Screenings

  • The American Cancer Society recommends women should begin having a pap test about three years after they start having sex, but no later than age 21.
  • The pap test should be done every year if a regular test is performed, or every two years if the liquid-based pap test is used.
  • Talk with your health care provider about how often to have this test done.
  • Prior to having your pap test:
    • do not douche, use tampons or vaginal creams for two days before test
    • do not have sex two days before test
    • schedule your test for when you will not be having your period.


Contact Information