October 3, 2012
Early detection is critical in the prevention of breast cancer; however, many women in our community are uninsured and unable to afford screening mammograms. Volunteer physicians at Good News Clinics provide free primary care to those in need in our community. When we lost access to screening mammograms for our patients, we contacted the National Breast Cancer Foundation and shared the need of uninsured residents in our community. NBCF immediately responded with a desire to help and a generous donation to provide screening mammograms for those we serve. A story about Martha best illustrates the impact the National Mammography Program has on the patients served in our community. Martha came to Good News Clinics as a new patient; she had not had a breast exam or mammogram in over ten years. After a breast exam, a diagnostic mammogram was ordered by the volunteer internist and immediately further diagnostic tests were ordered. Good News Clinics was able to refer Martha to volunteer specialists to develop a treatment plan for her. A Stage III malignancy was detected in a biopsy that was scheduled shortly after the ultrasound signified an area of concern. Currently Martha is under the care of a breast surgeon, a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist. She also has a patient navigator who speaks Spanish working with her. Martha has completed radiation and chemotherapy. Without the National Breast Cancer Foundation grant to Good News Clinics for screening mammograms, Martha may not have been able to have her breast cancer diagnosed and treated. Access to screening mammograms is an essential diagnostic test that every woman should have regardless of income level, ethnicity, or insurance status. Thanks to the generosity and caring support provided by the National Mammography Program, patients served by GNC’s volunteer physicians have access to this essential health care service.
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