Free mammogram screenings filled through October
Appointments for free mammograms are filled and waiting lists have been compiled as women try to take advantage of a potentially life-saving procedure during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The free mammograms are only for women who are 40 and older who are uninsured. This weekend, they are being provided at Sutter Auburn Hospital Women's Imaging and Sutter Diagnostic and Women's Imaging in Roseville from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Both of the sites offering the free mammograms this weekend have been booked for weeks and waiting lists with 30 or more women hoping to schedule appointments if anyone has to cancel have been compiled, according to Chris Braun, operations manager at Sutter Diagnostic and Women's Imaging.
"What's interesting is, people who did it last year called a month ago and started asking for the date this year. I know in Elk Grove a lot of their women are coming in from a local food bank that had a flier from us last year," Braun said. "Organizations are finding out we're doing this, so people are calling early and getting in, which is wonderful, but unfortunately there are limited resources."
There are 81 free mammograms scheduled for the Roseville site, 60 at Elk Grove and 75 at the Capital Pavilion site in Sacramento. Braun did not have the amount of women set to receive mammograms at Auburn, but said a waiting list has been compiled at that location.
Dr. Barbara White, a breast radiologist with Sutter Diagnostic and Women's Imaging, said two views of each breast are obtained during a mammogram using x-ray equipment that utilizes the lowest possible dose of radiation.
"We know that screening mammograms save lives. If we find breast cancer early, it can lead to better outcomes, as well as less invasive treatments for the patients both surgically and medically," White said.
Women getting a mammogram should expect some pressure, White said, but the procedure is noninvasive and takes less than 10 minutes.
"Some women describe some discomfort because there has to be some compression to get good images, but it shouldn't be painful," White said.
Once the images are analyzed from the free screenings, women who need a follow up exam will be contacted. Braun said women who need help financially can use Sutter's Charity Care or reach out to Albie Aware, or the Albie Carson Breast Cancer Foundation.
"We would reach out to them. There are also programs through the state and county we can reach out to as resources to help these women," Braun said.
Sites offering the free mammograms through October are as follows. All appointments at these sites are currently booked:
Oct. 6: Sutter Diagnostic and Women's Imaging, Roseville
Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital Women's Imaging, Auburn
Oct. 13: Sutter Elk Grove Imaging: Elk Grove
Oct. 20: Sutter Amador Hospital Diagnostic Imaging, Jackson
Sutter Vallejo Imaging, Vallejo
Sutter Women's Imaging, Capitol Pavilion, Sacramento
Oct. 27: Sutter Davis Imaging, Davis
Contact Amber Marra at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Amber_AJNews.