MADISON, WEST VIRGINIA (WOWK) — October is National Breast Cancer Month, so in hopes of bringing awareness to preventative measures, local health providers are offering incentives.
Most people know someone who has been impacted by breast cancer, which can be a deadly diagnosis in both men and women.
“My high school friend and college roommate died from breast cancer at the age of 39,” said Tahnee Mullins.
But experts say it can be a struggle getting patients in for their yearly exam.
“It’s not always what you can feel. Just because you can’t feel anything doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on. The earlier you detect it, the earlier the cure rate and survival rate,” said Lora Ballard, lead mammographer at Boone Memorial Hospital.
One in eight women and one in 833 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every single year. So that’s why it’s important to get your mammogram every year as a preventative measure.
Doctors say the pandemic hasn’t helped. According to the CDC, breast cancer screenings dropped 87% in 2020. And studies show that drop was most significant in rural areas.
“We provide services that most rural areas don’t provide. And that’s why we wanted to come in and offer the half-priced mammos so that way people can want to come get their mammogram,” said Mullins.
Boone Memorial Hospital performs about 1,000 mammograms every year to local women. But without insurance, it can be costly and lead patients to opt-out of getting screened.
Health professionals say they hope these incentives make the process easier.
“A lot of women skipped last year because of the fear… that is scary. I just want every woman come in and even men. We get men too. If something is not right with your breast and you notice it call immediately,” said Ballard.