WISEWOMAN and Breast & Cervical Health


WISEWOMAN and the Breast and Cervical Health Program (BCHP) are health screening programs for Alaskan woman. We remove financial barriers which prevent many women from being screened for cancer and heart/cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Our services pay for annual mammograms, clinical breast exams, pelvic exams, Pap tests, and cardiovascular disease risk factor (cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes). BCHP also pays for repeat mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies, and colonoscopies.

Women and Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular/heart disease is the leading cause of womens' deaths in Alaska and nationwide. Behaviors that help lower a person's risk of dying from heart disease include not smoking, staying at a healthy weight, eating less fat and high cholesterol foods, and exercising regularly.

Also, getting periodic blood pressure screening, cholesterol screening, controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and getting counseling to stop smoking may reduce risks related to heart disease.

More Information on Cardiovascular Disease

Women and Cancer

Start a Tradition of Prevention

Many forms of cancer can be prevented through good dietary habits, avoiding tobacco and being active.

Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death (after lung cancer) among women. Early detection of breast cancer through regular breast self-exams, clinical breast exams, and mammograms increase the chances of long-term survival.

All women are at risk for breast cancer. The most significant risk factors are being female and getting older.

What are the signs of breast cancer? The signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women. In fact, some women have no signs that they can see. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor right away:

  • A lump, hard knot or thickening
  • Swelling, warmth, redness, or darkening
  • Change in breast size or shape
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer deaths are nearly always preventable with early diagnosis through Pap test and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions.

A Pap test is a painless screening test that removes cells from your cervix.

The main risk factor for cervical cancer is having Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection from sexual contact.

General cancer resources

You can get valuable cancer prevention information at these Web sites:

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