Illinois Women Free Screenings

Do You Qualify?

How common are breast and cervical cancers?
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. It is curable if found in the earliest stages so it is imporant that women take the time to be tested. Today, nearly 2 million women living in the United States have been treated for breast cancer; most of these women are living normal lives. Many did not need to have a breast removed because they found the cancer early.
Cervical canceer is also common and curable if found early. About 12,000 American women will be diagnosed with cervial cancer this year. Often there are no symptoms, so it is important that women have a Pap test (Pap smear). The Pap test can find any abnormal changes that could turn into cancer. There are treatments that remove these cells before they become cancer.
What can I do to make sure I do not have breast or cervical cancer?
  • If you are over 40 years old, have a yearly mammogram.
  • Starting at age 20, have a doctor or nurse check your breasts for any problems once a year.
  • Do breast self-exams once a month and report any changes to your health care provider. Remember, most lumps are not cancer, but they should be checked to make sure.
  • Have a Pap test once a year if you ware over 18 years old or earlier if you are sexually active. once you have three normal Pap tests, your doctor may recommend that you have the test less often.
What if I cannot afford these tests and I have no insurance?
If you live in Illinois and do not have insurance, you may be eligible for a free mammogram, breast exam and Pap test. The Illinois Department of Public Health, through the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP), provides these important screening tests at no cost at many locations throughout Illinois.
Target enrollment is women ages 50 to 64, but younger women may be eligible for free screening if they meet certain guidelines:
  • Women between the ages of 40 and 64 may qualify for a free mammogram and breast exam. If a woman younger than 40 suspects a breast problem, she also may be eligible for these screening services.
  • Women between the ages of 35 and 64 may qualify for a free Pap test. If a woman younger than 35 suspects a cervical problem, she may be eligible for this screening test.
  • Women must have no health insurance or be under insured for screening only.
  • Women must have a limited income and meet the program’s other guidelines.
What happens if I find cancer? Who will pay for my treatment?
If you are screened through this program (IBCCP) and found to have cancer, you may be able to get your treatment covered through a special program managed by the Illinois Department of Public Aid. You must be screened through IBCCP to get a referral for this treatment coverage. Call the Women’s Health-Line listed below for more information about treatment.
How can I get more information?
To find out if you are eligible and where to go for these free screening tests, call:
Kankakee County Health Department
Serving Kankakee & Will Counties
(877) 635-2518 Toll Free (IBCCP)