Barriers

What is stopping women from getting their annual mammogram?

With early detection and treatment women are beating breast cancer. Yet many don’t receive an annual screening. The main barriers that women often express include lack of time, money and a false sense of risk.

Lack of Time
According to the research, the number one reason women do not have a mammogram is lack of time. Women feel they are too busy or do not have the necessary resources to fit a mammogram into their busy schedule. Most exams last only 20 minutes. Franciscan St. Francis Health offers imaging centers throughout central Indiana to provide better access. And, during Mammothon, we are offering extended screening hours every Friday in October to make it easier for women to schedule convenient appointments.

Financial Concerns
Another common barrier reported is a lack of insurance or limited funds. Most insurance companies cover all or part of the cost of an annual screening exam. Understanding that many people do not have insurance, we work with the Little Red Door Cancer Agency to provide financial assistance to those who qualify. For more information, call (317) 925-5595 or visit www.littlereddoor.org.

Understanding Risk
Research has indicated that many women do not schedule an annual screening because they believe they are not at risk. The fact is that 70-80% of all breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. And one in eight women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Mammography can find an abnormal growth up to two years before it can be felt by touch. If found early there are more treatment options and a better chance for survival. Which is why an annual screening should be a priority for women beginning at age 40, and sooner if directed by a physician.

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