Breast cancer is a group of diseases that affects breast tissue. Though this disease can affect both men and women, breast cancer is much more common in women, affecting more than 270,000 women in the United States annually. This cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Jackson County Department of Public Health encourages all women to get a mammogram, if recommended.

Getting mammograms regularly can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. Women should speak with their provider about their risk to identify their screening schedule.

While mammograms are covered by most health insurance programs at low or no-cost, the Health Department works to ensure that mammograms are available to all women, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.

To help women in need, the Health Department offers the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program, which provides free or low-cost breast and cervical cancer screenings and follow-up to eligible women. To qualify for the program, women must 1) be 40 years or older, 2) meet the financial guidelines, and 3) be uninsured, underinsured or have high insurance deductibles.

JCDPH’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program is a recipient of a Great Smokies Health Foundation Thrift Shop Grant. Funds awarded will be used to increase access to breast and cervical cancer screenings for under- and uninsured women in the community.

For more information about this program, contact Becca Williamson, RN, at 587-8213.