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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Early Detection Is Life-Saving

Here are 2 ways to get a free or low-cost breast cancer screening.

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1 in 8 U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It’s one of the most common cancers found in U.S. women yearly, accounting for one-third of newly reported cases, and serving as the second leading cause of death for women. Although the disease is common, early detection makes a dramatic difference when it comes to saving lives.

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Mammograms are a detection tool that can help to find breast cancer earlier, making it easier to treat and increasing your likelihood of survival. For those at an average risk of breast cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends receiving a yearly mammogram beginning at age 40. However, due to some women receiving false positive results, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends beginning at age 50. The American Cancer Society has reported that if found early and localized, the 5-year relative survival rate for breast cancer is 99%. 

October is known as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, spreading awareness of the disease and the preventative techniques, like screening tools, that save lives every day. The month began as a result of feminist activism in the 1970s, during which prominent women like soon-to-be first lady Betty Ford went public with their diagnoses. Gradually, October became known as the month during which women are encouraged to participate in self breast examinations, mammograms, and support those with the disease.

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In honor of breast cancer awareness, MDsave, an online marketplace for healthcare, has announced their initiative to help people save costs on their when receiving  breast cancer screenings. Beginning October 1, patients can purchase a voucher for a screening mammogram at any participating hospital or imaging center. The average price of these vouchers ranges from $99 for 2D screenings to $149 for 3D screenings, and is available to both insured and uninsured patients.

“At MDsave, we understand the importance of preventive care, and we are proud to offer patients the opportunity to take proactive steps in their health with our mammogram promotional campaign,” said Charlie Byrge, chief operating officer for MDsave. “By taking advantage of this campaign, patients can make sure they get the care they need at affordable prices.”

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Patients can locate local partners by searching online at MDsave’s website or getting in touch with the customer support team to help locate participating hospitals or imaging centers. The customer service team is available in both Spanish and English.

Although the vouchers must be purchased before October 31st, they can be used for up to six months following the date of purchase.

According to MDsave, over 90 hospitals and imaging centers are currently participating in the campaign to support their mission of making healthcare accessible and affordable.

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In addition to this initiative, the Affordable Care Act also ensured that most national health plans are required to pay for mammograms for women 50 or older, without charging deductibles or copays. Although there is currently a lawsuit moving through the courts charging the requirement as unconstitutional, the condition still currently stands.

No matter if you partake in the Breast Cancer Awareness Month initiative recently introduced by MDsave or use your insurance plan to receive a mammogram, one thing is clear: early detection of breast cancer could help save your life.

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