One of the best ways to stop breast cancer is early detection (and it works).
Although every woman should do breast self-exams every month, women over 40 should also consider getting mammograms — X-rays that examine breast tissue — every one to two years. (Here are specific instructions.)
If you are under 40 but have risk factors for breast cancer, you may need a mammogram as well; Ask your doctor’s recommendation.
But whatever your age, don’t avoid mammograms because of their cost.
6 Places That Offer Low or Free Mammograms
Today, women have plenty of ways to get free, low-cost mammograms. Here are six options.
1. Your doctor
If you are 50 or older, the Affordable Care Act requires your insurance company to cover mammograms every two years without a co-pay. More information is available here.
Medicare and Medicaid also cover the cost of mammograms.
2. National Breast Cancer Foundation
The National Breast Cancer Foundation collaborates with “medical facilities across the country to provide mammography and diagnostic breast care services to underserved women.”
Click here to find a location near you.
3. The Susan G. Komen Foundation
This breast cancer organization has branches in 120 US cities.
According to its website, its affiliate network “is the nation’s largest private funder of community breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment programs.”
To see what resources are available in your area, find your local affiliate here. Prefer to talk to someone? Call the organization’s Breast Care Helpline at 1-877-GO-KOMEN (1-877-465-6636), and representatives will help you find low-cost options in your area.
4. National Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) National Breast and Cervical Cancer Program provides breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured, and uninsured women throughout the United States.
To qualify for this screening, you must be between the ages of 40 and 64, have no insurance or insurance that fails to cover screening tests, and live at 250% or less of the federal poverty level.
You can find more information about your state or territory here.
5. Young Women’s Christian Association
Some YWCA chapters provide breast cancer screening and education services for uninsured or uninsured women.
Contact your local YWCA to see if they offer affordable mammograms.
6. Your local photography center
According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, many imaging centers offer discounted rates during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which falls in October.
You can search for a local mammography center on the Food and Drug Administration website.
To learn more about mammograms — including how they work and how to prepare — check out this PDF from the Komen Foundation.
Whatever you do, don’t wait!
Susan Shine is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder. Former SEO analyst Jacquelyn Pica assisted with the research.