Cancer is the leading cause of death in Vermont. Approximately four out of 10 men and women in the U.S. will develop cancer in their lifetime. Each year, approximately 3,600 Vermonters are diagnosed and 1,300 die from some form of cancer. Cancer is any disease where uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells occurs in the body. Different types of cancers have different causes, rates of occurrence and survival.
Cancer develops gradually as a result of many different factors related to lifestyle choices, environment and genetics. Anyone can develop cancer, including children. However, the risk of being diagnosed with cancer increases with age, and most cancers occur in adults who are older. Behaviors such as tobacco use, alcohol use, diet, physical inactivity, and overexposure to sunlight can increase the risk of developing certain cancers. When cancer is found and treated early, a person’s chance for survival is much better. Screening tests, including those available for breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancers, help to detect cancer at an early stage when treatment works best.
The Vermont Department of Health works closely with cancer stakeholders across Vermont to decrease the burden of cancer in Vermont, with the goals of preventing, detecting and treating cancer, as well as improving the lives of cancer survivors and their families.
Cancer is a chronic disease affecting thousands of Vermonters. More people die from cancer than any other cause of death in Vermont. Comprehensive Cancer Control (CCC) is “an integrated and coordinated approach to reduce the incidence, morbidity, and mortality of cancer through prevention, early detection, treatment, rehabilitation and palliation.” The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides funding for states, tribes and territories to create broad-based partnerships to develop strategic plans for cancer prevention and control within their jurisdictions. The Vermont CCC program formed its planning partnership in 2004 (Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer-VTAAC) and published its fourth five year Vermont Cancer Plan in 2016.
Our goal is to reduce the burden of cancer for all Vermonters by enhancing efforts to prevent, detect and treat cancer as well as improve the lives of cancer survivors and their families.
The Vermont Department of Health Comprehensive Cancer Control (CCC) program supports activities in which communities and partner organizations pool resources to reduce the burden of cancer. The 2016-2020 Vermont Cancer Plan, published by the Vermont CCC program and the statewide cancer coalition Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer (VTAAC), provides a strategic roadmap for reducing the burden of cancer in Vermont. The CCC program, VTAAC, and our network of community, clinical and nonprofit partners work to coordinate evidence-based priority activities based on the Vermont Cancer Plan to reduce tobacco use among Vermonters.
We collect information about all cancers and benign brain-related tumors, with certain exceptions, that are diagnosed in Vermont. Through interstate agreements, information about Vermonters diagnosed or treated in other states is also included. For more information, visit the Vermont Cancer Registry webpage.
We conduct research, evaluation and surveillance of cancer. We publish reports containing information about cancer risk factors, prevention, screening, diagnosis, staging, treatment, and survivorship. For more data, visit the Vermont Cancer Surveillance webpage.
We serve Vermont planners, policy makers, researchers, and citizens by making data available for analysis, planning and action.
Cancer is a chronic disease affecting thousands of Vermonters. More people die from cancer than any other cause of death in Vermont. Cancer Registry data are used to monitor efforts to reduce the impact of cancer on individuals, families and communities.
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.
You First serves women who are Vermont residents
Age 21 and older
Not receiving Medicare Part B
and who meet the following income guidelines
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.