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New Yes Cerv! program aims to save lives with early detection of cervical cancer

Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 3:44 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -WKYT is introducing a new monthly segment in partnership with Kentucky Cancer Link.

It’s called Link to Hope and it will include stories about cancer awareness and give us the chance to celebrate survivors in central Kentucky.

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month and a new program called Yes Cerv! is aimed at providing free screenings and saving lives.

In Kentucky the rates of cervical cancer are among the highest in the country according to national statistics.

What doctors say women need to know is that it’s a highly treatable and survivable cancer if caught early.

“Most people who do have cervical cancer, get diagnosed have gone more than five years without that screening, so it’s very important to get those screenings done,” said Tracy Colon, Yes Mamm! and Yes Cerv! Program Coordinator.

A new program through the CHI Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation aims to change that for women in Kentucky.

The Yes Cerv! program is a new cervical cancer screening program being funded in part through a $261,384 grant.

“The grant came about because the CDC recognized that Kentucky is in the bottom fifth in the nation of health outcomes,” said Colon.

The program is being modeled after one already in place, Yes Mamm!

The program, started in 2012 has helped provide thousands of free mammograms for women.

The goal of Yes Cerv! is to provide cervical cancer screenings through pap smears and education on things like the HPV vaccination.

“All women need to do to qualify is be over the age of 21, be uninsured or under-insured which means that their co-pay for this type of screening would cause a burden to them,” said Colon.

To help navigate women to the program, Yes Cerv! is partnering with Kentucky CancerLink, a central Kentucky organization that also works to eliminate barriers for cancer screenings.

“Kentucky CancerLink just really wants to be a link to hope, to be able to connect people in our state to great programs such a Yes Cerv!,” said Melissa Karrer, Executive Director for Kentucky CancerLink.

It is a partnership and program aimed at saving the lives of countless Kentucky women.

“That timely screening can make a big difference between an early detection versus identifying a potential late stage situation, said Karrer.

To see if you qualify for Yes Cerv! or Yes Mamm! call

Kentucky CancerLink at 1-877-597-4655

CHI Saint Joseph Health-Breast Care at Saint Joseph East at 859-967-5613.

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