UK HealthCare

First Lady Jane Beshear Announces Expansion of UK Ovarian Cancer Program in Northeast Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 21, 2011) –  First Lady Jane Beshear joined northeastern Kentucky officials and University of Kentucky representatives on Wednesday to announce the expansion of an ovarian cancer screening program that will provide free services to women in northeastern Kentucky Appalachian counties. The UK Markey Cancer Center Ovarian Cancer Screening Project will establish a satellite facility for the program at the Greenup County Health Department. 

“Most women do not experience ovarian cancer symptoms until the disease’s late stages, making screenings a valuable tool in detecting the illness,” said Mrs. Beshear.  “The expansion of this free program in Appalachia eliminates barriers such as cost and travel to provide easily accessible screening opportunities for women in the region.  Early detection is the key to battling this life-threatening disease and I want to thank everyone involved in bringing this program to northeast Kentucky.”

The UK Markey Cancer Center Ovarian Screening Project currently provides free screenings to women age 50 or older or women over 25 in Lexington who have a family history of ovarian cancer.  The satellite facility will provide the same screening opportunities to women in and around northeast Kentucky. 

A $200,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant will be combined with $66,600 from the Greenup County Health Department and $45,000 from UK to create the satellite program.  Funding will go toward purchasing required equipment and furnishings as well as provide program operations for up to three years.  UK will train local ultrasound technicians to facilitate the scans and the Markey Cancer Center will read the scans and deliver patient reports.     

In September, UK announced a 24-year-long study conducted by the Ovarian Cancer Screening Project that showed annual screening greatly improves early detection and can save lives.  Since the project began in 1987, more than 200,000 screenings have been performed on more than 37,000 Kentucky women and they have found more than 447 ovarian tumors and 76 detected malignancies.

"UK's Ovarian Cancer Screening Program has been extremely successful at detecting ovarian cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages for thousands of Kentucky women," said Dr. Michael Karpf, executive vice president for health affairs at the University of Kentucky. "This funding will help UK further its goal of providing medical care to all Kentuckians."

“Every Kentuckian should have an equal opportunity to access quality healthcare,” said DLG Commissioner Wilder.  “The addition of this program in northeast Kentucky will be an invaluable resource that women in the region can use to better protect themselves and their families from the risks of ovarian cancer.”

ARC partners with federal, state and local governments in effort to support sustainable community and economic growth throughout Appalachia by funding projects that improve healthcare, education, infrastructure, transportation, housing and business expansion.

For more information on the Ovarian Cancer Screening Project, call (859) 323-4687 or (800) 766-8279 or visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399, or; or Parry Barrows, (502) 564.2611 or (502) 382.6876.