This column appears in the Nevada Appeal health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
“You have cancer.” These are three scary words that no one wants to hear. However, fear of a diagnosis shouldn’t prevent you from seeking screening to detect cancer early. With early detection and modern treatment, survival rates from breast cancer are good. Cancer is most treatable when it’s found early. Breast self-exam, clinical breast exam, and mammograms can detect cancer and improve the chances of beating the disease.
You can take steps to protect your health. Learn about your risk for breast cancer and other cancers by talking to your family about your family health history. Also, talk with your healthcare provider about your personal breast cancer risk factors. Carson City Health and Human Services encourages all women to have an annual clinical breast exam and discuss with your healthcare provider whether a mammogram is appropriate for you. While different organizations have varying recommendations about when the time is right to start having mammograms, your physician can talk to you about your family history and other risk factors to determine if you should have a mammogram.
Carson City Health and Human Services (CCHHS) and Douglas County Community Health (DCCH) provide affordable Well Woman Exams in both of our clinics that include a clinical breast exam. For uninsured or underinsured women over 50, CCHHS and DCCH cooperate with partners, including Women’s Health Connection, to link women with screening and follow-up care, including assistance paying for mammograms. If additional care is needed following a clinical breast exam, Soroptomist International of Carson City has a fund to help defray the cost of mammograms, ultrasounds, and biopsies for women of any age.
This weekend, Remote Area Medical (RAM) will be providing free healthcare services at Carson High School, and the Mammovan mobile mammography van will be there, too. Call 877-581-6266 to make an appointment to see if you qualify for a free or reduced-cost mammogram. If you can’t make it this weekend, visit https://nevadahealthcenters.org/services/mammovan/ to see a schedule of where the Mammovan will be traveling next.
Learn more about breast cancer at http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/. For information on Health Department services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CCHHS.
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