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Mammogram event being held for uninsured Collin County residents: Free breast screening to take place Oct. 22
A Denton woman receives a Komen-funded mammogram as part of the Moncrief Cancer Institute breast screening program. Photo courtesy of the Moncrief Cancer Institute.
According to a recent study by the National Cancer Institute, millions of cancer survivors are going without adequate medical attention because of high health care costs.
An upcoming mammogram event in Frisco is being provided in hopes of making health care more manageable for both breast cancer survivors and women who have never been diagnosed with breast cancer alike.
On Oct. 22, Collin County women who are uninsured or under-insured will be able to receive a free mammogram screening at Solis Women's Health of Frisco.
The event, hosted by the Moncrief Cancer Institute of UT Southwestern, will provide the screenings thanks to funding provided by the North Texas affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Under the direction of Dr. Keith Argenbright, medical director at Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth, Moncrief has partnered with numerous medical facilities and cancer organizations to provide mammograms to women in Tarrant County and other area counties.
"I can say with 100 percent certainty that these Komen funds are making an impact on the health of North Texans," Argenbright said. "We help a vulnerable population and we get feedback every day from patients that mammograms saved their lives."
To qualify for the screenings, women must be 35 years of age or older and not had a mammogram in the past year. Additionally, women must not have a current breast-related problem.
Events of this nature aren't new for the Moncrief Cancer Institute, which serves 19 counties in North Texas. In an average year, the institute serves more than 30,000 people through its entire range of preventative services; in October alone it will host 14 preventative screening events.
Mary Stewart, director of communications for the institute, said the event is designed to make women more comfortable with receiving screenings.
"Our goal is to make breast screening more accessible to women -- particularly the uninsured and under-insured," she said. "When uninsured women can be screened in their own neighborhood, it involves less time and they're more likely to participate. And, ultimately, it saves lives."
While women who have insurance or are covered by Medicare can also receive a mammogram at the all-day event, its goal is to reach uninsured and under-insured women, Stewart said.
"Often people find it prohibitive to get breast screenings if their co-pay or deductible is high," she explained. "Many people -- myself included -- carry a high deductible with health insurance. So basically a lot of my care is out of pocket, and that's the same for a lot of people in the area. Not everything is always covered in a way it is for people with really great insurance."
Stewart added that screenings typically take about 20 minutes.
If a woman's screening discovers a potential medical problem, Moncrief's staff will then begin the process of navigating that woman to a clinical breast exam, diagnosis and treatment.
Solis Women's Health of Frisco is located at 5858 Main St. in suite 150. Women who meet the requirements for a free mammogram -- or women whose insurance can afford one -- can call 800-405-7739 to set up an appointment.