October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. According to the Center for Disease Control, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in women. In 2015, 232,000 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed, according to the American Cancer Society. Early detection through well woman exams and mammograms are life-saving!
Women who are uninsured are often forced to choose between making rent and putting food on the table or getting screened. In Linn County, we have an amazing program called Especially for You that helps uninsured and underinsured women and men get screened. Each year in October, there is a 5k walk or run to raise funds which go directly back into our community to provide mammograms, pap tests, and other screenings at no charge to the patient!
I recently worked with a patient who had no insurance. She was self-employed, so in order for her to have an income, she needed to be in good health. For several years she had not sought medical care because of the fear of what it would financially cost her. Then, one day, a friend told her about our clinic. We were able to get her in for a physical, but I also shared with her about the Especially for You fund. She filled out the application at His Hands and received a pap test and mammogram. Everything came back fine. Having access to these tests lifted an incredible burden off her shoulders. She was visibly lighter when she left our office!