(Salt Lake City, UT) – I don’t have time for a mammogram. I’m scared of what the results will be. I’m worried about how much it will cost. What if it’s uncomfortable or embarrassing? Women often use excuses such as lack of time, fear of the unknown, lack of financial resources, or beliefs about modesty as reasons for not getting a mammogram. But with Utah ranked 7th lowest in the country for mammography screenings, the Utah Department of Health’s Cancer Control Program (UCCP) wants women to “make the time to make sure” by talking to their doctor about when they should get a mammogram.
“Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women in the U.S. and the leading cause of female cancer deaths in Utah,” said Brenda Nelson, spokesperson for the UCCP. “Our new campaign encourages the supporters of women, such as their husbands, children, and even co-workers, to encourage the women in their lives to talk to their doctor about getting a mammogram.”
The UCCP and many of Utah’s local health departments offer free or low-cost cancer screening exams. “Women living in Utah’s frontier communities are significantly less likely to have had a mammography screening in the last two years compared to women living in more urban areas,” said Lynette Phillips, program manager for the UCCP. “They are also often unaware of free or low-cost services in their area.”
To see if you qualify for free or low-cost mammography screening, contact your local health department or call the UCCP at 1-800-717-1811. An interactive map of screening facilities by county is also available at http://cancerutah.org/get-screened/screening-locations/.
The UCCP recommends that all women aged 40 and older, regardless of their family health history, talk to their doctor about getting a mammogram. “There have been several changes to national screening guidelines that can be confusing,” said Nelson. “That’s why it’s so important to talk with your doctor about when the best time for you to get a mammogram is and how often you should be screened. There are many risk factors that can increase your personal risk for breast cancer, including age, family history, body weight, and even physical activity level so some women may need earlier or more frequent screenings than others.”
For more information about breast cancer and mammography screenings, or to watch the “Make the Time to Make Sure” campaign videos, visit http://cancerutah.org/.
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Cancer Control Program
(o) 801-538-6189 (m) 435-849-1759