SARASOTA- When it comes to Breast Cancer, the earlier it’s diagnosed the better easier it is to treat. But for those without insurance or living in poverty, getting mammograms regularly isn’t always the priority.
One in eight women will develop Breast Cancer, but those without insurance may go undiagnosed.
“I’ve had women tell me on the phone,” “That they don’t want to get a screening, because if they find out they have Breast Cancer, they are just going to know that there is nothing else they can do, but that’s not true.”
According to Breast Cancer Action, Low-income breast cancer patients have five-year relative survival rates nine percent lower than high income patients.
Regional Coordinator of the Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection program Jan Chulock says changing that starts with making sure every woman gets breast cancer screenings.
“For woman 50-64, the Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program is a great option,” Chulock said. “It’s a federal grant, a CDC grant, and we pay for the breast exam, pap smear and the mammogram.”
There are more options for women whose doctor’s want them to start getting screened before 50.
“You don’t have to be 50 an up,” Chulock said. “We’ll help you if your under 50 if you have a strong family history of Breast Cancer or if your symptomatic.”
And their help doesn’t stop with screening.
“If the screening mammogram comes up abnormal,” Chulock said. “We can even pay for additional diagnostics up to a biopsy.”
If women screened through the program are diagnosed, they can then be eligible for Medicaid.
“We don’t want to just diagnose breast and cervical cancer,” Chulock said. “We want to be able to get them to treatment.”
They also will help point women to doctors and organizations that can provide treatment and assistance.