Free Mammograms for uninsured

DATE: October 1, 2010

Women from a five-county area of West-Central Illinois may be eligible to receive a free mammogram on Wednesday, October 20.

To be eligible, women must live in Adams, Brown, Hancock, Pike or Scott counties in Illinois, be between the ages 40 and 64 and be uninsured for health care.

Women who fit those eligibility requirements, regardless of their personal income level, may call the Hancock County Health Department, (217) 357-2171, and ask for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program to make a reservation for a free mammogram appointment. Space is limited.

The mammograms will be done in the Blessing Breast Center, in Suite 320 of the Blessing Health Center, 927 Broadway. Women will need to bring proof of income, either their last two paycheck stubs or last year TMs tax return, and proof of age with them to their appointment.

The first 50 women who register and receive a free mammogram will also receive a goody bag.

Statistics show that mammography is the best method of detecting breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage. Mammography can detect breast lumps an average of nearly two years before a woman can feel a lump.

On average, mammography will detect about 90 percent of breast cancers in women without symptoms, and mammography has been shown to reduce death from breast cancer by 20 percent to 39 percent in women age 50 and older.

Each woman meeting the guidelines and scheduling a free mammogram is also eligible to schedule a breast exam with a doctor, and receive a pap smear at a later date at no charge.

Locally, the free mammography program is a partnership between the Hancock County Health Department and the Blessing Breast Center.

The State of Illinois TM Breast and Cervical Cancer Program provides the funding for the free mammography program.