October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s the time of year women are encouraged to get a breast health checkup. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Let’s lessen that number by taking preventive measures and educating ourselves about ourselves, our body.
Get informed and take charge of your health.
One out of eight women in the United States will have invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. In this year alone, the American Cancer Society estimates that over 40,000 women will lose their lives to this disease.
There are several organizations that provide education about mammography and breast cancer early detection. If a problem is found on the mammogram, the breast center staff provides education about the abnormality as well as assistance with the plan for further diagnostic testing.
Educate yourself on breast cancer symptoms and prevention offered here on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website, or take this quiz from the American Cancer Society. Additionally, learn about your personal risk by talking with your doctor. The National Cancer Institute also offers this Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool.
Start taking care of yourself and remember to do your regular breast self exams if you haven’t in the past. And remember to schedule your annual mammogram. Start now, and vow to do it regularly from now on.
Breast Cancer early detection is provided to women of average risk for breast cancer who are 40 years old and up. Screening mammography is used for women who do NOT have symptoms.
When Are Mammograms Free?
You can get a free mammogram every 1 to 2 years if you’re over age 40. Mammograms are available for women with and without insurance! Mammograms can be costly, but very much needed. A Mammogram in New Orleans costs $103 on average when you take the median of the 38 medical providers who perform Mammogram procedures in New Orleans, LA, but there are grants provided by organizations such as Susan G Komen that can assist with out of pocket cost.
NOTE: Mammograms are only free as a screening for women without symptoms. If you go to the doctor with a symptom — like a lump — the mammogram is considered a “diagnostic test.” In that case, you’ll need to pay any deductibles and a copay or coinsurance, just as you would for other tests your doctor might use to rule out problems.
You have to be over age 40. You’re only covered for a mammogram every 1 to 2 years — the specifics depend on your policy, as outlined in its summary of benefits.
St. Thomas Community Health Center
1020 St. Andrew Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: (504) 529-5558
The St. Thomas Community Health Center offers no-cost mammograms to women who qualify. The clinic says it accepts women without health insurance. To qualify for a free mammogram, women must have income at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty level. It also offers a sliding fee scale for low-income patients.
The Center accepts most insurance plans. Women without health insurance are welcome as well. Grant funding is available for women who have low income and are without insurance. The patient will need to provide the center with a proof of income to qualify for our sliding scale fee. If the income level is at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty level, the mammogram is free. The clinic is happy to help with information about fees.
Access Health Louisiana Phone: (504) 575-3746 (please leave a message)
Access Health Louisiana (AHL) received $22,500 in grant funding this month from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to offer free mammograms to uninsured patients. The awards were given out during the “Go Pink” luncheon held at the Audubon Tea Room on April 5th. Mammogram vouchers are available through AHL community health center locations in Orleans, St. Charles, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, St. Tammany and Washington parishes. This is the fifth year in a row AHL has received funding from the New Orleans Affiliate of the Komen Foundation to fund its Project TOUCH mammogram program. One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer according to the Komen Foundation. Getting a mammogram can significantly reduce your risk of dying from breast cancer. More than 3.1 million women have survived breast cancer thanks to early testing. If you or someone you know is age 40 or older and uninsured, contact AHL to schedule a time to receive your free mammogram voucher. Call 1-866-530-6111 for the clinic nearest you.
West Jefferson Medical Center
Women’s Imaging and Breast Care Center4521 Westbank Expressway
Marrero, LA 70072
Phone: (504) 349-2104
Mary Bird Perkins at St. Tammany Parish Hospital Cancer Program
1202 South Tyler Street
Covington, LA 70433
Phone: (985) 898-4000
Phone: (888) 616-4687
*provides mobile mammography screenings
Daughters of Charity Health Centers
3201 S. Carrollton Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70118
CAGNO – Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans
824 Elmwood Park Blvd. Suite 154
New Orleans, LA 70123
Phone: (504) 733-5539
*provides qualified breast cancer patients financial assistance with medications, medical bills, insurance premiums, COBRA fees, co-pays and breast cancer related medical bills.
West Jefferson Medical Center Outpatient Rehabilitation Department
4519 Westbank Expressway
Marrero, LA 70072
Phone: (504) 349-6140
*provides qualified patients with lymphedema rehabilitation management services and helps fund necessary compression materials.
University Medical Center Occupational Therapy Department
2000 Canal St.
*provides lymphedema support