Q. I don’t have health insurance, and I just can’t afford the cost of a mammogram. What can I do?
A. There are a number of resources you can access to receive a mammogram at no cost. Try any of these:
The American Cancer Society. Go to cancer.org, find the blue box on the upper right (“Find ACS in Your Community”), enter your zip code, and it’ll direct you to your local ACS office. They can tell you what resources are available in your area. Or call the ACS toll-free: 1-800-ACS-2345.
The United States Government’s National Cancer Institute can direct you to a local resource for free mammograms. Call them toll-free at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). Be ready with your zip code.
The United States Center for Disease Control’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provides access to critical breast and cervical cancer screening services for underserved women in the United States. Their Web site lets you click to your state to find a local health care facility that offers free mammograms for women meeting the income guidelines.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure provides information on free or low-cost mammograms and other sources of financial assistance. Call toll-free, 800-IM-AWARE (800-462-9273).
Breast Cancer Network of Strength offers peer support, educational programs, local resources, and advocacy initiatives in selected areas across the country. For more information and to take advantage of BCNS's free-of-charge programs and services, call 1-800-221-2141.
The American Breast Cancer Foundation’s Key to Life Breast Cancer Screening Assistance Program provides financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured women and men of all ages for breast cancer testing. Call their toll-free enrollment hotline, 877-Key-2-Life (877-539-2543).
Finally, try calling your local hospital. Ask to speak to a social worker. He or she will be the one who’ll know about the availability of free or low-cost cancer screening in your community.
Whatever you do, don’t give up! A regular mammogram is your best defense against breast cancer.