Mammograms Save Lives
Health Department Reminds of the Importance of Breast Cancer Screening
Mammograms save lives. Yet, we know that many women are not getting into the clinic for this routine breast cancer screening. The current pandemic had routine annual mammograms being put on hold, but now facilities are back to scheduling mammograms. Women are now able to schedule their routine annual mammograms with their provider. Today, we know much more about this disease, including the importance of regular breast cancer screenings to catch the disease early and get women into treatment sooner.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the United States. Breast cancer will develop in about one in eight women during their lifetime. The main factors that influence your risk of breast cancer include sex, age (most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older), family history, and inherited genetic changes.
In Eau Claire County, data shows only 54% of Eau Claire County female Medicare enrollees ages 65-74 received an annual mammography screening in 2017. Breast examinations and mammograms increase the chances breast cancer will be diagnosed early. Finding breast cancer early can improve the chances that breast cancer can be treated successfully and with more treatment options, less extensive surgery, and ultimately, better treatment outcomes.
While many women now have access to breast cancer screenings through private health insurance, the Health Insurance Marketplace or BadgerCare Plus, there will continue to be women without health insurance. The Wisconsin Well Woman Program (WWWP) is another option for these women. WWWP provides breast and cervical cancer screenings statewide to eligible women aged 45 through 64. “We want to see access to preventive screening available to all. This program helps ensure that more women have access to this important screening,” says Jackie Krumenauer, Wisconsin Well Women Program Coordinator. Eau Claire City-County Health Department provides coordination of WWWP for Eau Claire and 7 surrounding counties: Chippewa, Dunn, Jackson, Pepin, Pierce, Trempealeau, and St. Croix.
To learn more about the WWWP program or the eligibility requirements, contact the local Wisconsin Well Woman Program coordinator at 715-839-4718 or visit the Eau Claire County Wisconsin Well Woman Program website @ www.echealthdepartment.org.
Breast cancer screening guidelines vary based on a woman’s age and risk factors for breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about the screening plan that is best for you. For additional information about breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society at http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/index.