Cancer is the leading cause of death in our state. According to the most recent data from the Arizona Cancer Registry, 11,642 Arizonans lost their lives to cancer in 2015. We offer several programs and public education campaigns to help raise awareness about cancer prevention, and to help people get screening and treatment for certain types of cancer.

One of the programs we offer is the Well Woman HealthCheck Program. The program helps low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women gain access to breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services, including: clinical breast examsmammogramspap tests, and pelvic exams. Diagnostic testing is such as ultrasoundsbiopsies, other tests are also available, if screening results are abnormal.

All women are at risk for breast and cervical cancer, but regular screenings can prevent or detect these diseases early . The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has established specific guidelines for breast and cervical cancer screening, but you should discuss how often you should be screened with your health care provider.

The Well Woman HealthCheck Program began screening women for breast and cervical cancer in 1995, and has provided more than 103,701 mammograms and 81,971 pap tests. The program has helped to diagnose 1,350 breast cancer cases, 49 invasive cervical cancer cases, and 539 cases of precancerous cervical lesions since the start of the program through the end of June 2016.  More than 54,000 women have received serves through the Well Woman Healthcheck Program since the program started through June 2016. Visit our website to learn more about the Well Woman HealthCheck Program.

NOTE: This is the first in a three-part series about cancer prevention programs and services in Arizona.