Christi Pope, Director of Imaging Services at Bates County Memorial Hospital, has an important message to women who need an annual mammogram screening: don’t miss it.
“We’ve all missed out on a lot of life’s big events in the past few years, but there are those who miss out on a lot more because of breast cancer,” she said.
As a radiologic technologist with certification for mammography, Christi has guided thousands of patients through the steps of a mammogram. Most women come to Imaging Services for an annual mammogram screening, recommended for all women after the age of 40.
Breast Cancer Prevention
According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in our country are diagnosed with breast cancer, and it’s the second leading cause of death for women (after lung cancer).
Women should present for a baseline mammogram at age 35 and yearly after the age of 40. Those with close family members with a history of breast cancer should discuss options with their health care provider.
There are other ways to watch for signs of breast cancer, such as monthly self-exams. Women should alert their primary care provider to any sudden changes they notice in their breasts, such as in the size and shape, swelling, redness, darkening, a rash, or sudden discharge from the nipple.
Christi has seen first-hand how regular mammography screenings can help a woman find breast cancer early, before it has a chance to spread.
“That’s why we take breast health so seriously at Bates County Memorial Hospital,” Christi said. “We have invested in leading-edge technology like 3D mammography and other diagnostic equipment. We also want to make sure mammography screenings are accessible to all women who need them in our community. But some women are missing out, because they don’t have health insurance and they think they can’t afford it.”
BCMH Cares – Free Mammograms for Women
Most health plans cover the entire cost of annual mammography screening. Thanks to a special fund at Bates County Memorial Hospital called BCMH Cares, uninsured and underinsured women who need a screening mammogram can get one for free – including follow up services, when indicated.
Don’t miss out. Schedule your mammography screening today — it could save your life.
Patient Benefit Advisors at BCMH can help if you think you need a screening mammogram. Call 660-200-2370.