About Early Detection Works

The goal of the Early Detection Works program is to reduce death from breast and cervical cancer among the women of Kansas. Program components include education, screening, diagnosis, case management, and referral for cancer treatment. The Early Detection Works educational component is directed toward all women in Kansas. Most importantly, Early Detection Works pays for screenings for low income, medically under-served women.

To qualify for these services, a woman's income must fall within 225% of federal poverty guidelines and she must be between the ages of 21 and 64. Further, a woman must have no health insurance or inpatient-only insurance with a high, unmet deductible. If screenings detect any abnormalities, Early Detection Works will pay for diagnostic procedures.

More than 20,000 Kansas women have been screened through the Early Detection Works program. Over 500 cases of precancerous and invasive breast or cervical cancer have been identified.  A total of over 200 women have received treatment for breast or cervical cancer under the Federal Treatment Act. To qualify for treatment under this Treatment Act, a woman must be diagnosed with cancer through Early Detection Works.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Kansas women. According to the Kansas Cancer Registry and Office of Vital Statistics, around 2,000 Kansas women will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year, with around 400 related deaths. Increasing survival rates depends on early detection through routine mammograms, clinical breast examinations and breast self-examinations. When breast cancer is diagnosed at an early, local stage, five-year survival rates are as high as 97%.

Cervical cancer is a common cancer in Kansas as well. According to the Kansas Cancer Registry and Office of Vital Statistics, around 100 Kansas women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, with around 27 related deaths. As Pap screening has become more prevalent, carcinoma in situ (localized, early cancer) of the cervix is now more frequent than invasive cancer, particularly in women under age 50. Cervical abnormalities can be detected and corrected before the development of cervical cancer. Regular use of the Pap test to screen for cervical cancer could reduce the risk of death as much as 75%. Early Detection Works strives to extend screening services to those women who have been only rarely or perhaps never screened.

Early Detection Works is the result of a national health initiative. The National Strategic Plan for the Early Detection and Control of Breast and Cervical Cancers was developed to ensure that every woman for whom it is deemed appropriate receive regular screening for breast and cervical cancers. Prompt follow-up is to be provided if necessary. Enactment of The Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act of 1990 authorized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement the Act through partnerships with state health agencies and other national organizations. In October of 1993, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment was awarded a cooperative agreement from CDC to develop the infrastructure of the Kansas Early Detection Works (formerly FREE to Know) program. Screening funds followed in 1995. The Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act of 2000 modified the Kansas Medicaid program to include provision for treatment of breast and cervical cancers diagnosed through this program.

Over 90 contractors currently serve the 5 regions in Kansas, and public education coalitions have been established in many Kansas counties. Early Detection Works has formed statewide collaborative partnerships with: Susan G. Komen For the Cure, The American Cancer Society, Cancer Information Service, The Race Against Breast Cancer, County Health Departments, and hospitals and clinics throughout the state. Through these collaborative efforts, Early Detection Works has built networks across Kansas to deliver the lifesaving message, "The Best Protection Is Early Detection" to thousands of women.