Mammograms save lives but can miss your breast cancer. Learn more about what tests may be best for you.
The American Cancer Society estimates that among U.S. women, there will be 40,610 breast cancer deaths in 2017 and 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer. If breast cancer is curable, why are there still so many breast cancer deaths?
The Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund (CCPF) believes this is in part because women who have dense breasts are only getting a mammogram and not considering other alternatives. The reality is, while mammograms do save lives and have been proven to be a very reliable test for women with fatty breast tissue, mammograms still miss 30-35% of invasive breast cancers.
One reason mammograms miss breast cancers is because dense tissue can hide cancers on a mammogram. Breast density has become a national public health issue. In 2016, CCPF launched the Pink Ribbon Breast MRI Program to fund breast MRI for patients who qualify. Breast MRI detects 95% of invasive breast cancers and using it as a screening tool can save lives, especially in dense breasted patients.
Breast density also increases your risk for breast cancer. So how do you know if you have dense breasts? By getting your mammogram! Your mammogram report will include your breast density. All women should get a baseline screening mammogram at age 35. Most insurance plans will cover one mammogram between ages 35 and 40 and then every year after you turn 40.
If you have dense breasts, consider applying for the Pink Ribbon Breast MRI Program. To qualify for a fully funded Breast MRI, your annual family income must be at or below 400% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For a family of four, the annual family income to qualify is $98,400. Other program qualifications include:
• Your most recent mammogram reports that you have “dense breasts” (level 3 or 4)
• Your insurance does not cover Breast MRI
• You reside in one of the 13 counties of Greater Cincinnati
• You give consent for the Breast MRI results to be sent to CCPF for evaluation
So what should you do? Get a baseline mammogram at 35 years old and an annual mammogram every year beginning at age 40. (You can make an appoint here.) If you have dense breasts, contact the Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund for more information on Breast MRI and to see if you are eligible for the Pink Ribbon Breast MRI Program. Your breast density can change so it is important to always read your mammogram report carefully.
By getting your mammogram at the ProScan Pink Ribbon Centers, you are helping to support all of the Pink Ribbon Programs including the NEW Pink Ribbon Breast MRI Program! Visit www.ccpf.org/pink-ribbon-programs for more information.