First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Jane Beshear Announces Free Ovarian Cancer Screening Program in Appalachia

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, October 19, 2011  
Revision Date:  Thursday, October 20, 2011 
Contact Information:  Parry Barrows

University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Ovarian Cancer Screening Project to establish satellite facility

GREENUP, Ky.–  First Lady Jane Beshear joined local officials and University of Kentucky (UK) representatives today to announce the expansion of an ovarian cancer screening program that will provide free services to women in northeastern Kentucky Appalachian counties.  The UK Markey Cancer Center Ovarian Cancer Screening Project will establish a satellite facility for the program at the Greenup County Health Department. 

 “Most women do not experience ovarian cancer symptoms until the disease’s late stages, making screenings a valuable tool in detecting the illness,” Mrs. Beshear said.  “The expansion of this free program in Appalachia eliminates barriers such as cost and travel to provide easily accessible screening opportunities for women in the region. Early detection is the key to battling this life-threatening disease, and I want to thank everyone involved in bringing this program to northeast Kentucky.”

The UK Markey Cancer Center Ovarian Screening Project currently provides women age 50 or older or women over the age of 25 who have a family history of ovarian cancer, the opportunity to receive free screenings in Lexington. The satellite facility will provide the same screening opportunities to women in and around northeast Kentucky. 

A $200,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant will be combined with $66,600 from the Greenup County Health Department and $45,000 from UK to create the satellite program. Funding will go toward purchasing required equipment and furnishings, as well as provide program operations for up to 3 years. UK will train local ultrasound technicians to facilitate the scans and the UK Markey Cancer Center will read the scans and deliver patient reports.    
"I have worked on this project, to get free annual ovarian cancer screening in Greenup County, for over a year,” said Rep. Pullin, of South Shore.  “This program will save lives in our area.  We know that early detection gives women the best chance for successful treatment.  I am very grateful to Gov. and Mrs. Beshear, the Appalachian Regional Commission, UK's Dr. Karpf and Dr. van Nagell for their support for this project in Greenup."

In September, UK announced a 24-year-long study conducted by the Ovarian Cancer Screening Project that showed annual screening greatly improves early detection and can save lives. Since the project began in 1987, more than 200,000 screenings have been performed on more than 37,000 Kentucky women and more than 447 ovarian tumors and 76 detected malignancies have been found.

"UK's Ovarian Cancer Screening Program has been extremely successful at detecting ovarian cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages for thousands of Kentucky women," said Dr. Michael Karpf, executive vice president for health affairs at the University of Kentucky. "This funding will help UK further its goal of providing medical care to all Kentuckians."

“Every Kentuckian should have an equal opportunity to access quality healthcare,” said DLG Commissioner Wilder. “The addition of this program in northeast Kentucky will be an invaluable resource that women in the region can use to better protect themselves and their families from the risks of ovarian cancer.”

“Establishing this satellite clinic at the Greenup County Health Department will help save lives by giving women in northeast Kentucky and southern Ohio better access to free ovarian cancer screenings,” said Chris Crum, director of the Greenup County Health Department. “We look forward to beginning this partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission and the University of Kentucky. This program will support our mission to promote wellness in the individual and community and teach people simple ways to lead healthier lives.”
“Ovarian cancer is called the silent killer because many women who have it don’t show symptoms until the disease reaches a very dangerous stage,” said Sherri Smith, grant liaison for the Greenup County Health Department. “Offering free screenings in our area will allow more women to be diagnosed early, which is a key to treating and curing this deadly disease.”

ARC partners with federal, state and local governments in effort to support sustainable community and economic growth throughout Appalachia by funding projects that improve healthcare, education, infrastructure, transportation, housing and business expansion.
For more information on the Ovarian Cancer Screening Project, call (859) 323-4687 or (800) 766-8279 or visit