A gift for Valentine’s Day: mammograms
Early detection is currently one of the main allies in the fight against cancer, elevated to the category of essential for some types, such as breast cancer. Detecting the illness –one of the few cancerous ailments that can be diagnosed even before the first symptoms of the patient appear – at its initial stage, according to the Spanish Cancer Association, increases the possibilities of a cure to nearly 100 percent. Mammograms have become one of the most reliable and extended detection techniques, a simple test that, though able to save lives, is unfortunately not at the reach of all women. Its potential cost and the debate surrounding the age at which women should perform the test are two of the factors impeding access of the population to this test. Penn Medicine, the American Cancer Association and WUVP Univisión 56 have decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the launching of a special and healthy initiative.
Under the slogan “Love Yourself”, these three organizations will give free mammograms to all those who, whether due to lack of health care coverage or because they are unable to afford the costly co-payments, lack access to this important test. A gift that is especially significant if one considers that, in 2015 alone, an estimated 17,100 new cases of cancer among Latinas in the US will be diagnosed. “Early breast cancer detection through mammograms saves lives and is recommended as of the age of 40”, explains Carmen Guerra, Associate Professor of Medicine, Associate Chief of Staff of the Abramson Cancer Center and president of the East Central Division of the American Cancer Association. Guerra also takes advantage of this initiative to call out to potential beneficiaries: “Do it for yourself and for your loved ones”.
Enjoying this gift is simple; all you have to do is contact the American Cancer Association (1-800-227-2345), where applicants must register to receive a free mammogram at Penn Medicine on February 12 (from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Tuttleman Center) and on February 13 (from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Perelman Center), with a previous appointment. In addition to the “Love Yourself” campaign, the Healthy Women Program of the Pennsylvania Department of Health also offers free breast and cervical cancer diagnostic and detection services throughout the year for eligible women. A campaign from which, as of its 2007 launching in NewYork, 9,000 women have already benefitted.