DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH NEWS RELEASE
National Mammography Day is October 21. The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) along with the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection (BCC) Program remind the public about the importance of scheduling regular mammograms because early detection saves lives.
Individuals who are low income or without insurance may qualify for mammograms at no cost. Persons in need of services may call the toll-free hotline 1-833-525-1811 to find a provider in their area. Hotline services are available in English, Spanish and other languages. A participating medical provider will determine eligibility for the BCC program.
“It’s important that anyone who has not scheduled their regular mammogram and who has certain risk factors, such as being a woman, being 50+, and having a family history of breast cancer, schedule their mammogram as soon as possible,” said Laura Parajon M.D., DOH Deputy Secretary. “If finances or not having insurance are a barrier, please reach out to our Breast and Cervical Cancer program because free mammograms may be available.”
A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast and is the best way to detect breast cancer early.
“I had a mammogram in 2014 that detected an early stage of breast cancer. It possibly saved my life and today I’m cancer free,” said Jodi McGinnis Porter, DOH communications director. “About 1 in 5 new breast cancers will be ductal carcinoma in situ and nearly all women with this early stage of breast cancer can be cured.”
Depending on an individual’s risk factors for breast cancer, a doctor may order both a mammogram and a Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which uses magnets and radio waves to take pictures of the breast. Mammograms are an effective tool for looking after breast health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) women aged 50 and above with an average risk factor should get a mammogram every two years. Women aged 40-49 years old should speak with their doctor to determine their risk factors and what is best for them. If there is a history of breast cancer, the screening may begin earlier.
Early detection saves lives, schedule your mammogram today.