St. Mary’s offers free breast cancer screeningNot only can women get a free mammogram in Superior this month, they can walk out of the testing with some goodies.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Not only can women get a free mammogram in Superior this month, they can walk out of the testing with some goodies.
“The option is free to the women — it is paid for by Medicaid, Medicare or Well Woman depending on what they are eligible for,” said Marjorie Johnson with the Midwest division of the American Cancer Society.
Although free mammogram days were held twice in Duluth last year, this will be Superior’s first. The test is being offered to any woman who is on Medicaid, Medicare, uninsured or underinsured.
“Outreach is crucial because many low income women do not make time to care for themselves and may not understand their risk of breast cancer,” Johnson said.
The event takes place on April 16 at Essentia Health/St. Mary’s Hospital in Superior, 3500 Tower Ave. Women age 40 and older who haven’t been screened this year can sign up for one of the 20 available slots by calling Harbor House Crisis Shelters, 715-394-9608 or Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency, 715-392-5127. Walk-ins will also be accepted if any slots are available the day of the screenings, Johnson said.
Women debating whether to sign up are encouraged to attend an information session from 10-11 a.m. April 9 at Faith United Methodist Church, 1531 Hughitt Ave.
Licia Connolly, a nurse and breast health navigator for Essentia Health, provides information about the importance of early detection; how women can know if they are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer; and what women can do to decrease the chance of developing breast cancer. Everyone is welcome to attend the free session. Those planning to attend are asked to call Kelly at the church, 715-394-9608, but walk-ins are also welcome.
Breast cancer holds the number two position for most common and most deadly cancer for women in the United States. About 1-in-8 or 12 percent of women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.
Mammograms can find breast cancer early, even before symptoms appear. Most doctors feel that early detection tests for breast cancer save many thousands of lives each year and that many more lives could be saved if even more women and their health care providers took advantage of these tests, according to the American Cancer Society.
The screenings will be done on the Superior hospital’s new digital mammography machine, which provides a higher-quality image than a standard machine. Following the test, which takes about 15 minutes, participants will receive a $10 gift card and a tote bag. Sponsors of the event include Essentia Health, Harbor House, NWCSA, the American Cancer Society and the YMCA.