Get a mammogram regularly
As women age, the risk of getting breast cancer also increases. 85% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no known risk factors other than age.
- Regular screening mammograms are the best method available to detect breast cancer early when it is most treatable. A mammogram can find breast cancer before a lump can be felt. In some cases, finding a breast tumor early may mean that a woman can choose surgery that saves her breast, or she may not need chemotherapy.
- Regular mammography screening can save lives. Research estimates show that if 10,000 women age 50 were screened every year for 10 years, about 37 lives would be saved.
How often do I need to get screened?
Mammography is the most effective screening tool used today to find breast cancer in most women. However, the benefits of mammography vary by age.
- Women ages 40-44 should talk with their healthcare provider and together decide when to start getting mammograms.
- Women aged 45-54 should receive annual mammograms.
- Women 55 and older can switch to mammograms every two years or can continue yearly screening. Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 years or longer.
Benefits of Screening
- Mammography is the best way to detect breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage -- an average of 1.7 years before the woman can feel the lump. Mammography also locates cancer too small to be felt during a clinical breast examination.
What services are covered by Women's Way?
Women’s Way covers payment for program-enrolled women ages 40 through 64 for:
- Annual screening mammogram.
- Diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound, or breast biopsy is needed for diagnosis after an abnormal screening mammogram.
- Annual breast MRI for women at high risk for breast cancer.
Women’s Way covers payment for program-enrolled women ages 21 through 39 for:
- Clinical breast exam to determine if there is a breast abnormality.
- Mammogram or breast ultrasound ONLY if a breast abnormality is found and documented by a health care provider.
- Breast diagnostic services.
Do mammograms hurt?
Mammograms may be slightly uncomfortable due to the compression needed to get the most accurate picture. If you find the mammogram too uncomfortable, feel free to talk with the radiology technologist performing the exam about your discomfort.