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.
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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 underinsured 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.
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.
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
Breast Cancer: 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: 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.
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 2015 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 40-49 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:
Local Women's Health Check coordinators will assist you with:
Panhandle Health District
St. Joseph Breast Imaging Center
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
- Enrolling in the WHC program
- Setting up your screening appointments
- Follow up regarding your test results
The following resources are available for information on cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, research and individual and family support options.