According to the American Cancer Society, women should have a screening mammogram every year and continue to do so as long as they are in good health.
To be eligible for a free mammogram and Pap test, women must be 40 to 64 years of age, reside in Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, or Otsego counties, have no health insurance or no coverage for mammograms and Pap tests; and meet certain income requirements.
The family income requirement is higher than many people expect, according to Teresa Sington, who coordinates the Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. “Many women do not realize they are eligible for free mammograms and Pap tests,” she said.
Financial eligibility for the Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program is based on family income. For example, women in a family of four may have an annual income of $53,000 and qualify for a free mammogram and Pap test, if they meet other eligibility requirements.
Screening tests like mammograms and Pap tests can detect cancers early, Sington said, providing better opportunities for women to get effective treatment with fewer side effects. Patients whose cancers are found early and treated in a timely manner are more likely to survive these cancers than are those whose cancers are not found until symptoms appear.
“We are looking forward to the day when no woman dies from cancer that could be detected in a simple screening test. Finding cancer early is key to easier treatment—and less expensive treatment,” Sington said. “Do it for yourself, do it for your family.”
The Health Department’s Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program is funded by US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) & Prevention through the Michigan Department of Community Health.
Openings for free mammogram and Pap test appointments at Health Department office in Mancelona, Petoskey/Harbor Springs, and Gaylord are booking now for fall. For additional information, to confirm income eligibility, and to schedule an appointment at any Health Department office, call 800-432-4121.The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties.