Jacksonville Memorial Hospital is again working to help prevent breast cancer in the area.
October is breast cancer awareness month and hospitals in the Memorial Health network are again offering Mammogram Mondays. The program offers free mammogram screenings from 3 to 5 pm each Monday in October.
A physician’s order is required. However, Jacksonville Memorial Hospital Technician Amanda Vortman says if patients do not have a doctor, the hospital will provide a physician’s order.
“We are involved with the Mia Ware Foundation that is allowing people who do not have insurance who have high deductibles to provide free screening mammograms by using the Mia Ware Foundation. These also could be patients who maybe don’t have a primary care provider because a lot of the time you have a copay or doctor’s visit cost that includes your physician’s visit. So to eliminate those extra charges for anyone, we do offer and have a doctor in the community that provides services to be able to provide those free mammograms.”
Vortman says the Mia Ware Foundation is also helping women in the Jacksonville area to receive mammograms if they are underinsured or have no insurance coverage, anytime throughout the year, not just in October.
Vortman says the main thing they are pushing is to get women into the hospital for their screenings because it can’t be just a one-time thing as early detection is key.
“ We want you to come in and have your mammograms done every year. We don’t want you to wait until you have a problem. Our goal with mammography is to find things as early as we can, and that is including finding things that you cannot feel.
When you come to us with something you can feel, it means that if this is a breast cancer, it is something that has grown into something you can feel. We’re able to find breast cancer in some patients as early as microscopic findings and very subtle changes in the mammogram.
Having the mammograms done every year, they can compare images from one year to the next and then they look for those subtle changes, and we are able to find them with that.”
Vortman says that includes the use of the hospital’s state-of-the-art 3D mammogram scanning machine so any changes or indicators of a possible problem can be found as early as possible.
Mammogram Mondays are offered every week during the month of October.
Appointments are required and no walk-ins are available. To find out more information including help provided by the Mia Ware Foundation, or to schedule an appointment, call 217-479-5696.