By Rob Flaks Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News)
One out of 8 US women will get breast cancer.
Often the first step in finding out if you have it is by receiving a mammogram, a service that could cost between 200 to 300 dollars according to Tanya Reese of the Onondaga County Health Department.
Reese said her department is combating this issue by covering the fee for anyone between the ages 40-64 who wants to go in for a screening. These screenings are a subsidized as part of grant from N.Y. State Health Department in addition to CDC funding that covers “cancer screenings of breast cervical and colorectal cancer,” said Reese.
The program was designed to help people who might not otherwise be able to afford these services said Reese.”We have hundreds of individuals coming through our program every year,” she said.
Reese said that Onondaga County sees an increase in people taking advantage of this program every fall, but wouldn’t say if the increase is caused by the increase awareness of breast cancer for the month of October.
“We typically do see an increase in the fall months. I’m not sure if it’s everyone coming off summer vacation, or if its the increased media coverage of breast caner in the month of October but we do we an increase in the later months of the year,” she said.
Early detection can be the make or break factor for cancer treatment according to Andrea Rush, an administrator for the Saint Agatha Cancer Foundation, a local group that helps people in central New York pay for their breast cancer treatments.
While her group doesn’t cover mammograms, Rush said that they are committed to paying for treatment of breast cancer. “The mission of the Saint Agatha Foundation is to help pick up the cost associated with breast cancer treatment,” she said.
“It’s extremely, extremely important to get these tests early,” Rush said adding that, “the technology for mammography has improved so much that it can pick up the most tiny blip in breast tissue.” Rush said that early detection leads to better treatment at a lower cost.
“The screening service is wonderful because what their doing is reducing barriers to treatment for those who might have financial difficulties affording co-pays that associated with mammography,” she said.
Click here to visit their website to get your free screening.