It’s October - Time to Squeeze Your Boobs Again

Stacy Matson | Celebrity Health

Mammograms are really sort of a gift. You can either catch something early or count your lucky stars because nothing was discovered. Either way, you're ahead of the game - Charlotte Ross

We’re nearly half way through October and you’re probably focused on what costume you, or your kids, want to wear for Halloween. Or, maybe you’re focused on how you’ll decorate your house to entice and then scare the crap out of trick or treaters? Or, perhaps you’re freaking out because Christmas is only 75 days away.

Forget about all that nonsense. I’ve got something scarier for you to think about. Cancer. More specifically, breast cancer. I know. Killjoy.

The reason I bring it up is because October is not only the month to celebrate ghouls and goblins it’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

In the United States, breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women. This means that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with it in her lifetime. More specifically, 266,120 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and 63,960 will be diagnosed with non-invasive breast cancer in 2018. Unfortunately, 40,000+ will not survive.

There is good news though. Thanks to advances in medication and therapies, early detection through screenings, and increased awareness a woman's risk of dying of breast cancer has dropped 39%. Therefore, if you're getting mammograms regularly, you're setting yourself up for survival by catching abnormalities early.

So put down the zombie costumes, the fake blood, the screeching headless monsters, and the candy and go get a mammogram. Seriously. It’s easy this time of year. I’ve even put together a list of organizations/facilities that offer free or low cost mammograms during the month of October.

Through its National Mammography Program, the National Breast Cancer Foundation provides free mammograms and diagnostic care services to underserved women by partnering with medical facilities around the country. If the doctor discovers anything during the exam, the NBCF National Mammography Program requires that the medical facilities within their network assist with treatments. 

Women between the ages of 40-64, who have no insurance or insurance that doesn’t cover screenings and live at or below 250% of the federal poverty level can participate in the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. This program provides breast and cervical cancer screenings to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, the five U.S. territories, and 12 American Indian/Alaska Native tribal organizations. 

If you are an insured women over 40 you are guaranteed coverage for mammograms with no co-payment under the Affordable Care Act and Medicare/Medicaid have similar programs. 

Good health is a luxury that many people take for granted. Don’t do that to yourself. If you are a woman between 40 and 54 you should get a mammogram every year and, if you’re a woman 55 or older you should get one every two years. When was the last time you had a mammogram? Years ago? I thought so.

I know I said breast cancer and mammograms are scary, but they don't have to be. 90% of women will survive breast cancer if it’s detected and treated early. Mammograms are your friend. Speaking of friends, why don’t you get together with a bunch of girlfriends and get mammograms together? You could wear all pink or, you could wear your Halloween costumes! Make it a party! Just DO IT!

Stacy Matson is a health enthusiast from Southern California and regularly blogs on Celebrity Health for A Healthier World, as well as contributing to the Best of Best.

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