Breast cancer is common, affecting one in eight American women. A screening mammogram is one of the most valuable ways to identify breast cancer in its earliest stages when it is most treatable. However, despite the technology that is available, many women don’t get the exam when they should for many reasons. Iowa Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) Care for Yourself program hopes to improve accessibility to mammograms, pap smears, and pelvic exams for women in Dickinson, Emmet, and Osceola counties in Iowa. As a result, Dickinson County Public Health and Lakes Regional Healthcare have partnered to provide a Care for Yourself Mammogram Event on May 27.
Lakes Regional Healthcare Director of Population and Public Health Katy Burke said the Care for Yourself event will provide a free screening mammogram to six people that meet certain qualifications, which include:
• Resident of Dickinson, Emmet, or Osceola county,
• Are between the ages of 40-64 years of age or are under age 40 and have signs of breast cancer,
• Have a monthly income of $2,683 (net) or less,
• Have no health insurance,
• Have health insurance, but are unable to pay the co-payment or deductible, or
• Have health insurance, but need help to make sure they get screened, such as those who have language barriers or lack of transportation.
The event will be held on May 27 from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm at Lakes Regional Healthcare in Spirit Lake. Gas cards will be available to attend the event, if needed, and translation services will be available. At this point the event will be limited to six individuals, but Dickinson County Public Health will be scheduling more appointments in July. Burke said, “This is a tremendous opportunity to receive important information about your health, and even if we fill up the May 27 appointment slots, we encourage people to call and get their name in for July.”
The Care for Yourself program will also provide a free pap smear and pelvic exam. According to Burke, those who receive the mammograms will get these additional exams scheduled at a later date.
Those interested in scheduling an appointment for the May 27 event are to call Dickinson County Public Health at 712-339-6050 and ask for Jordan or Milly. The deadline to sign up is Thursday, May 20.