By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (March 17, 2016) – Early detection is the key to battling breast cancer, and a local program is giving all women in Erath County – and across North Texas – a fighting chance.
Moncrief Cancer Institute and UT Southwestern Medical Center provide fully funded mammograms for uninsured women in dozens of counties across the region each month.
“We provide mammography services to residents in more than 30 counties, many through our mobile clinic,” Liz Confiliano, community outreach coordinator for Moncrief Cancer Institute said. “Moncrief provides almost 10,000 free screenings a year to uninsured and underserved women throughout North Texas.
“That includes those screened at partner hospitals in more than two dozen North Texas counties and at the Moncrief headquarters in Fort Worth,” Confiliano said.
In Erath County, the screenings are offered at Stephenville Medical Surgical Clinic (SMSC), with the free, in-house service being provided once every month and twice during October, national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The service will be available 1:30 – 4:10 p.m. on the following dates in 2016: April 1, May 6, June 3, July 15, August 26, September 23, October 7, October 14, November 18 and December 16.
To qualify and register, women simple call (800) 405-7739 to speak with a scheduler. Confiliano said the registration process takes about 10-15 minutes, and a mammogram will be scheduled by the end of the call.
While the service is provided monthly in Stephenville, schedulers can find the closest North Texas location and best available appointment time for women living outside of the county.
The fully funded mammogram program began in June 2010, impacting about 50,000 women across the region.
Confiliano said almost 247,000 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year.
“Breast cancer screening can help find breast cancer early, when the chances of survival are highest,” she said. “Breast cancer screening is important for all women, no matter their level of risk. Women at higher risk may need breast cancer screening earlier and more often than women at average risk.”
Moncrief Cancer Institute aims to increase breast cancer awareness and the odds of surviving the disease while reaching women who might otherwise go undiagnosed.
“The screenings are designed to help women who have a tough time getting health care – offering fully funded mammograms for women without insurance who meet eligibility guidelines,” Confiliano said. “Funding in Erath county is provided by grants from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas.”
Medicare and most insurance programs are also accepted.
Screening is recommended for women age 35 and older. Women who have experienced any breast problems or abnormalities are urged to immediately consult their physicians or call (800) 405-7739 to speak with a Moncrief nurse navigator.