Heart Disease & Stroke
You First helps eligible women get breast, cervical and heart health screenings.
Our members get free mammograms, Pap tests and heart health checkups (blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar testing). You First also pays for diagnostic tests when needed; our nurse case manager is available to provide support and guidance. We help women make positive changes by referring members to free help for quitting smoking, nutrition counseling and health coaching, and by paying for certain weight loss programs.
Services are available to Vermont women who:
Are 21 years old or older
Do not have Medicare Part B
Meet income guidelines (see chart below)
You First Income Guidelines 2018
Heart Disease Risk Factor Screening
Heart disease is the most common cause of death for women in the U.S. There are many risk factors for heart disease, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high glucose (blood sugar). Testing for these things can be done in a doctor’s office and You First pays for all of them. These risk factors are numerically measured. If your numbers are too high there are many things you can do to lower them.You First has a free program to help you make positive health changes.
Using tobacco is another risk factor for heart disease. Quitting tobacco is one of the most important things you can do for your health and there’s a lot of help available.
Breast Cancer Screening
One out of every eight women will get breast cancer in her lifetime. Because we don’t know what causes breast cancer, there is no sure way to prevent it. We do know that finding breast cancer early while it is still small can make it much easier to treat. The best way to find cancer early is to have regular mammograms as recommended by your doctor. A mammogram is a series of x-ray pictures that allow doctors to look for early signs of breast cancer up to three years before it can be felt. You First pays for mammograms for women over 40, and earlier if you are high risk. It is important to know your risks. Schedule with your doctor to plan your mammogram.
Even though we don’t know what causes breast cancer, there are some things you can do to lower your chance of getting breast cancer.
Cervical Cancer Screening
The cervix is the lower, narrow end of a woman’s uterus. The uterus, also known as the womb, is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant.
Cervical cancer is usually a slow growing cancer that develops over many years. The changes that happen to the cervix can be seen by a Pap test, which is a simple test done during a pelvic exam. If the Pap test shows that abnormal cells are starting to grow these cells can be removed before they develop into cancer. Because of the Pap test, cervical cancer is the easiest female cancer to prevent. It is also very curable when found and treated early.
Annual pelvic exams are recommended. Pap tests begin at age 21 and should occur every three years if Paps are normal, less frequently after age 30 with HPV testing. Discuss your plan with your provider.
We now know that almost all cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed from one person to another during sex. Many people will have an HPV infection at some point in their life and usually HPV goes away on its own. When it doesn’t go away it may cause cervical cancer over time. It is now possible to get tested for HPV when a Pap test is done. HPV is paid for if there is an abnormal Pap, and also as part of screening for women 30 and over.