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Ovarian Cancer Screening Program

Doctor discussing ovarian cancer screening with patient.

The UK Markey Cancer Center Ovarian Cancer Screening Program provides free annual sonographic screenings to women across Kentucky with the goal of detecting cancer early. When it’s caught early, ovarian cancer is a treatable and curable disease.

Since the program started in 1987, more than 47,000 participants have received more than 310,000 free screenings – more than 1,200 per month – using transvaginal ultrasonography (TVS). TVS detects virtually all small ovarian cancers, and the program results indicate that the screening reduces ovarian cancer deaths in the group screened.

  • Screening eligibility

    • All women over the age of 50 (including those who have no symptoms and no personal history of ovarian cancer) are eligible for a free ovarian cancer screening.
    • Women over the age of 25 who have a family history of ovarian cancer are also eligible for a free screening.

    Any woman in one of these two groups should contact us at 800-766-8279 to schedule an appointment.

  • About TVS screening

    TVS uses ultrasound  to produce a better view of the ovaries than abdominal ultrasound. The aim of ovarian screening is to detect ovarian cancers at the earliest possible stage when they are most likely to be cured.

  • About ovarian cancer

    The chances of having breast cancer are about one in nine over a woman’s lifetime. The chances of having ovarian cancer are about seven to eight times lower than that. But despite the lower risk, ovarian cancer kills more women than all other gynecologic malignancies combined. 

    Typically ovarian cancer is not accompanied by symptoms until the disease is advanced. Early-stage ovarian cancer is often curable, while advanced-stage ovarian cancer carries a poor prognosis for survival. 

    Most ovarian cancers occur in women who are over the age of 50 and do not have any symptoms or risk factors.

    Our research protocol experience involving more than 47,000 women who have received over 310,000 free ultrasound screens indicates that transvaginal ultrasound is the most effective way to detect early stage ovarian cancers and save lives. This research protocol remains open to Kentucky women to continue establishing the soundness of this approach.

  • Contact information

    Division of Gynecologic Oncology
    Ovarian Screening Program
    800 Rose Street, UKMC
    Room 375 Whitney Hendrickson Women's Cancer Facility
    Lexington, KY 40536

    Hours of Operation:

    Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Address: 

    800 Rose Street, 
    Room 375 Whitney Hendrickson Women's Cancer Facility
    Lexington, KY 40536

    To schedule an appointment, please consider one of the following points of contact:

    Call: 

    1-800-76-OVARY

    1-800-766-8279

    859-323-4687

    Request an appointment by email: During weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., you may request an appointment by emailing tcpayne@uky.edu. Please provide your name, day time phone, address, preferred day and time, as well as preferred screening location (Lexington, Somerset, Elizabethtown, Prestonburg, Maysville, Greenup and Paducah.)

    Please plan on scheduling your screening appointments two or more months in advance.