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More Women Skipping Mammograms to Save Money
More than 1,800 women in Illinois will die from breast cancer this year, and about 9,400 will be diagnosed with the disease.
You've probably heard this before: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Doctors at Simmons Cancer Institute couldn't agree more when it comes to women over age 40 getting routine mammograms.
"Since the advent of mammograms, we know the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer has increased, but the number of women surviving breast cancer has also increased," Dr. Robert Mocharnuk said. "We translate that into detecting the disease earlier, when it's most treatable."
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women.
Yet more and more women are making a dangerous decision.
"A number of patients have said they avoided routine mammography because they couldn't afford it," Mocharnuk said.
Now, Simmons Cancer Institute is partnering with Memorial Health System for a new program called Mammogram Monday during October, which is breast cancer awareness month.
Fran Roettgers doesn't have health insurance and is taking advantage of the free program.
"I think it saves peoples lives," she said. "For me right now it's a big help... especially if I find out I have a problem."
Mammograms can help detect up to 90 percent of all breast cancers, even before you can feel a lump. That's the point at which cancer is most treatable.
The National Cancer Institute recommends women age 40 or older have screening mammograms every one or two years.
The first Mammogram Monday program is already booked through the end of the month.