Breast cancer screening rates dropped sharply when the COVID-19 pandemic began, and for many women, getting back to scheduling their annual mammogram and other important health appointments still remains a challenge. CentraState Healthcare System just made that one item on many women’s to-do list a little bit easier by offering routine mammography screenings with no prescription required.
“No woman should go without these screenings,” says Jean Ho, RN, BSN, breast cancer nurse navigator at CentraState. “We do everything we can to break down any barriers women may face so they can get the care they need.”
The American College of Radiology recommends that women receive a screening mammogram each year starting at age 40. Women who are 40 or older, due for a routine mammography screening, and have no symptoms, will no longer need a prescription to schedule a mammogram at the Star and Barry Tobias Women’s Health Center at CentraState.
Women who come in without a prescription will have their results explained to them by one of the center’s nurse navigators. If an abnormality is detected, the nurse navigator will contact the patient’s physician. If the patient does not have a physician, the nurse navigator will even help them find one.
EXTENDED HOURS AND FREE SCREENINGS INCREASE ACCESS TO BREAST CARE
CentraState Healthcare System is also committed to ensuring that all women are able to get a routine mammogram, regardless of insurance status. Any woman who is uninsured or underinsured can have their mammogram covered by a grant program available at CentraState. Free monthly events with local community partners expand the opportunities for women to get their screenings. Extended weekday hours and Saturday appointments are offered to fit busy work schedules.
“So many people have postponed or had to delay routine health care due to the pandemic, and I don’t think we’ve seen all the repercussions yet,” says breast surgeon John Pellegrino, MD, FACS, director of the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program at CentraState. “Now more than ever, it’s so important to keep up with healthcare appointments for your own benefit. Early detection means a head start on treatment.”
For more information about the Women’s Health Center at CentraState or to make an appointment, visit centrastate.com/womenscenter or call 732-294-2778.