Thursday, September 06, 2012 - Free Mammograms Offered October 2 to Women Who Qualify

Women from a five-county area of West-Central Illinois may be eligible to receive a free mammogram on Tuesday, October 2. 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 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. Women who register will receive a free mammogram will also receive a goody bag.

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’s tax return, and proof of age with them to their appointment.

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 must also schedule a breast exam with a doctor, and may be eligible to receive a pap smear at a later date at no charge.

Locally, the free mammography program is available year-round and is a partnership between the Hancock County Health Department and the Blessing Breast Center. The State of Illinois’ Breast and Cervical Cancer Program provides the funding for the free mammography program.