Breast cancer screening
Prior to 1990, local health departments in Kentucky provided limited breast cancer screening services consisting of instruction on breast self-examination and counseling on risk factors for breast cancer. When new state funds became available in 1990, local health departments in all 120 counties expanded their services to include clinical breast exams, referrals for screening mammograms and referrals for follow-up diagnostic tests.
In 2005, 12,799 women in Kentucky were screened through the Women's Cancer Screening Program.
Cervical cancer screening
Cervical cancer screening (Pap tests) have been provided through local health departments since the 1960s. Pelvic examinations and referrals for diagnostic tests are available to eligible women at local health departments in Kentucky.
The Kentucky Women's Cancer Screening Program provides low-cost mammograms and Pap tests through health departments in every county.
Three factors are used to determine eligibility for breast cancer screening:
- uninsured (no private insurance, no Medicaid, no Medicare).
Women age 40-64 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.
Low-cost annual Pap tests are provided to uninsured women with incomes at or less than 250 percent of the poverty level beginning three years after the onset of sexual activity or no older than 21 years of age.
About the Program
Recognizing the value of screening and early detection, Congress passed the Breast and Cervical Mortality Prevention Act of 1990 which authorized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide critical breast and cervical cancer screening services to underserved women, including older women, women with low incomes and racial and ethnic minority women.
Through its landmark National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, CDC now supports screening activities in all 50 states, five U.S. territories, the District of Columbia and through 15 American Indian/Alaska Native organizations. By October 1997, more than 1.5 million screening tests had been provided by the NBCCEDP.
Fiscal year 1999 appropriations of approximately $158 million enabled CDC to expand access to screening and follow-up services, increase education and outreach programs for women and health care providers and improve quality assurance measures for screening.
In 1990, Senate Bill 41 was passed, establishing a breast cancer screening program in the Kentucky Department for Public Health. In addition to setting out general guidelines for the operation of a breast cancer screening program, SB 41 established a Breast Cancer Advisory Committee for the purpose of advising the Commissioner of the Department for Public Health on developing guidelines for breast cancer screening services. The 1994 General Assembly made amendments to the original statute with passage of House Bill 931 which clarified statute language, added three new members to the Breast Cancer Advisory Committee and expanded reporting requirements to the Governor and Legislature. The 1998 General Assembly again amended existing law designating Nov. 1 as the due date for the annual report and adding a radiologist to the Advisory Committee.
Understanding Breast Cancer Treatment: A Guide for Patients
This booklet was developed by the National Cancer Institute to help women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer make treatment decisions. The booklet can be obtained by contacting the Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237)
Providers Practice Prevention
Contact: Kris Paul, MSN, APRN
University of Louisville Kentucky Cancer Program
501 E. Broadway, Suite 160
Louisville, KY 40202