MICHIGAN – This October, the Central Michigan District Health Department (CMDHD) is proud to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to promote regular breast cancer screening and early detection of breast cancer. Breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the breast. Breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get breast cancer, too.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019), other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer in women, no matter your race or ethnicity. In fact, one in 10 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 45 (Protect Your Health & Assess Your Risk, 2019). It is very important to get regular screenings like mammograms, that can help detect breast cancer early and increases the effectiveness of available treatments (American Cancer Society, 2019). Programs are available to assist with the costs of having a mammogram. A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast. Doctors use a mammogram to look for early signs of breast cancer. Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (2016) recommends that average-risk women who are 50 to 74 years old should have a screening mammogram every two years. The recommendation also says women can choose to begin getting mammograms every other year in their 40s. Certain risk factors may lead to mammography in women younger than 50 and should be discussed with their primary care doctor (Stay Healthy, 2017). The Central Michigan District Health Department participates in the Michigan Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Navigation Program (BC3NP). This program provides free annual breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to eligible women. To be eligible for the program, a woman must be between age 40 and 64, have no insurance, and meet income requirements. Women between the ages of 21-39 who are referred to the BC3NP with an abnormal screening pap test, clinical breast exam or abnormal mammogram, which requires breast or cervical diagnostic services, may also be eligible for services.
Women who are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer through the program or through another care provider without insurance may be eligible for Medicaid for their treatment. If you do not fit the eligibility, please call to find out about other programs that may be able to assist you. CMDHD also offers navigation services for women with insurance who need help accessing their services. They can help make appointments, find transportation, or further explain the breast and cervical cancer screening process. For more information or to schedule an appointment for breast and cervical cancer screenings, contact your local CMDHD branch office at 989-426-9431 ext. 1316. For more information about the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program, please visit www.michigancancer.org/bcccp.