Monday, September 29, 2014 - 12:41pm
Free Breast Cancer Screenings Available
In the last several years controversy related to the recommended frequency of screening for breast cancer has many women confused. It is critical, however, to not let that frustration stand in the way of getting the check-ups you need. Experts recommend developing a personalized breast cancer screening plan with a healthcare provider.
Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women and it is second to lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer-related death among women. While a family history of breast cancer does increase a woman's risk, most breast cancer occurs in women with no family history. It’s important for all women to have regular breast cancer screenings, but it may be even more critical for African American women who are diagnosed less frequently than white women but who die more often from the disease.
According to Kari Sievert, Program Coordinator with The WI Well Woman Program (WWWP), “Knowing when to have your first mammogram and how often to be screened can be complicated so it’s important to talk with a doctor about your personal circumstances, risk factors and screening options.” A challenge for some is a lack of health insurance and/or difficulty accessing a health care provider. The great news is that women without insurance may be eligible for free breast exams, mammograms and other diagnostic tests through the WI Well Woman Program. The WWWP also assists with establishing a primary care provider for ongoing care.
The WWWP in collaboration with the Treatment Access Fund (TAF), sponsored by Susan G. Komen, has been providing FREE breast cancer screenings for eligible women in Dane County since 1994. The WWWP & TAF Programs, administered through Public Health - Madison & Dane County, serve more than 1,200 eligible women in Dane County each year. WWWP is a valuable resource for women across the state. It provides an opportunity for ALL women to have annual check-ups regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.
Women may be eligible for a Well Woman Check-up if they:
- are ages 45-64 (or under age of 45 with a current breast concern),
- have no health insurance
- meet the income guidelines below
Family Size Gross Annual Household Income*
1 up to $29,175
2 up to $39,325
3 up to $49,475
add $10,150 for each additional family member
*Net income for farm families and self-employment
"Enrollment for the program is quick and easy and can be completed over the phone in 10 minutes," said Sievert. "It's a call that just might save your life." Exams are available at more than 25 participating clinics in Dane County.
Please check our website for more details at www.wellwomandanecounty.org
For more information call (608) 242-6392. Para información en español llame al (608) 242-6235.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a great time to take advantage of this statewide opportunity.
- Jeff Golden, Public Health Madison Dane County, (608) 243-0302
- Kari Sievert, Well Woman Program, (608) 242-6392