You’ve probably heard enough talk about mammograms to understand that they’re important. You may already know they’re the best way to reduce risks associated with breast cancer by detecting irregularities early (sometimes three years before any tangible signs appear!). And it might not surprise you that a mammogram can even save your life. But who should be getting a breast check? And how often?
According to experts, patients aged 40 to 44 can start getting annual mammograms. Between the ages of 45 and 54, it’s recommended that women get mammograms every year. (Studies have shown that breast cancer tends to be more aggressive in the 40-50 age group.) After a woman turns 55, she can cut back on mammograms to every other year. Since worries about cost and time that come with any medical procedure are the last thing women these ages need, Harbor Community Health Centers have found a way to make it easy.
HCHC collaborates with Alinea Medical Imaging from Pomona, CA to provide premiere mammograms to our patients. The professionals at Alinea visit our Pacific Avenue location regularly for preventative Mammogram Events. Whether you’ve never had a mammogram before or you’re just due for your next one, you couldn’t be in better hands.
Alinea Medical Imaging provides the mammography equipment along with a knowledgeable administrator and an expert radiologist. During a mammogram, breasts are placed in a machine and squeezed to spread out the tissue while an x-ray is taken. This is uncomfortable – a lot like the feeling of using a blood pressure cuff – but only lasts a few seconds. Four pictures are taken, from the top and diagonally on each side, then you’re done! The results are sent directly to your HCHC provider, who can go over them with you at your follow-up appointment.
Our Patient Experience Specialists are happy to help you book your screening at these events, so feel free to call HCHC for the current schedule. Pro tip: don’t schedule it right before or during your period, when breasts tend to be more sensitive.
At HCHC, not having insurance is not a problem. Our staff will provide uninsured patients with an application for the Every Woman Counts (EWC) program on the day of the event. (We’ll help you fill it out, too!) This statewide program covers the cost of the mammogram, plus any other additional imaging or procedures deemed necessary based on the screening results. Alinea Medical Imaging will process the application and enroll the patient if they qualify, and (good news!) most patients do.
In the rare event you do not qualify for EWC, Alinea will let you know the cost of the preventative care screening, which is based on a sliding fee scale. We make sure that, no matter their circumstances, every HCHC patient who needs a mammogram gets one.
Both our staff at HCHC and Alinea Medical Imaging are ready to provide excellent care and top-notch screening. Make your annual mammogram appointment with us today! Call (310) 547-0202