As October begins, let’s take a moment to discuss some of the FAQs surrounding breast cancer, its risk factors, and how patients can schedule screenings for the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women.
What kind of appointment do patients need to get a mammogram?
At Promise, breast exams are typically done with a Well Woman Exam – otherwise known as an annual exam or a yearly physical. However, if there is a specific concern, an acute appointment for breast concern would be the appropriate type of appointment to schedule.
What are some of the warning signs that a patient should get a breast exam?
The following would all be considered indicating signs a patient should schedule a mammogram: any breast changes, a change in skin color, texture, or sensation; any lumps, bumps, or pain; any changes in the nipple – pain, itching, or discharge if not lactating.
What is the biggest barrier for patients to get a mammogram?
Cost is probably the biggest barrier, but the second is myths surrounding mammograms. Some women believe mammograms are going to cause cancer, though mammograms use very little radiation. Additionally, many people believe only women with a family history of breast cancer should be screened. However, more than 75% of breast cancer is detected in women with NO family history. This is because it often occurs due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations. For that reason, early detection is so important – for example, there is a 99% survival rate when caught early, and this changes to 25-70% survival rate when caught in the later stages.
What is the process of scheduling a breast exam for patients who cannot afford one?
In most cases, women do not need an order to schedule a screening mammogram – they can call any facility and schedule one on their own. According to our providers, the best way to get a mammogram scheduled is by having it at your annual physical, where we can also get proper health maintenance testing complete and ensure you are doing all you can do to be as healthy as you can be! To help with the cost, we encourage patients to ask about and apply for our sliding fee discount program which provides financial assistance to help with cost barriers.