Question: I don’t have health insurance, and I just can’t afford the cost of a mammogram. What can I do?
Answer: 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 the ACS website, find the blue box under the main image at the top of the page (“Find Local ACS”), 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: 1-800-227-2345.
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 website 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 their toll-free Breast Care Helpline, 1-877-465-6636; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation’s National Mammography Program connects underserved women with local medical facilities across the country offering free or reduced-cost mammograms. Their interactive patient services map allows you to search for participating facilities by state.
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, 844-219-2223; hours are Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday 9 a.m. to noon.
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.
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Breast cancer survivor and award-winning author PJ Hamel, a long-time contributor to the HealthCentral community, counsels women with breast cancer through the volunteer program at her local hospital. She founded and manages a large and active online survivor support network.
Updated On: November 2, 2016
PJ Hamel is senior digital content editor and food writer at King Arthur Flour, and a James Beard award-winning author. A 16-year breast cancer survivor, her passion is helping women through this devastating disease. She manages a large and active online survivor support network based at her local hospital and shares her wisdom and experience with the greater community via HealthCentral.com.