The program, which is intended to help the uninsured but is open to anyone, is offered during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and again in May in honor of Mother’s Day.
Participants must have a physician’s order in order to receive the routine screening.
“We don’t do self-referrals in case they need a follow-up,” said Candy Johnson, a registered mammographer.
The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms for women age 40 and over.
Two of the most common myths about mammograms are that women don’t need one if they are not experiencing symptoms or have had a normal one in the past.
However, mammograms can detect a cancerous tumor as much as two years before a manual exam can and long before symptoms occur.
Also, some forms of cancer can be as small as a grain of salt and can only be detected with an x-ray.
“We have seen several patients from last year who came in this year and they have had a cancer develop in that amount of time,” said Penny Harbison, a registered mammographer.
While breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American women, most of the women who are diagnosed with it will be alive and well five years later.
The key to survival is early detection.
“It’s a curable disease if we can catch it in its early stages,” Johnson said.
To schedule a mammogram at Walker Breast Center, call 387-4750.