EAMC Lanier holding free mammography testing

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 4, 2018

Chris Heaney

VALLEY — October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, meaning that organizations, companies and hospitals are holding events and spreading information on the disease. In addition to offering goody bags and information to women who receive mammograms at EAMC Lanier throughout the month, the local hospital will be offering free mammograms on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

According to EAMC Lanier Mammography Technologist Beth Sheppard, the free testing is something that happens annually for women who are without insurance.

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“EAMC has a foundation that raises money for this particular cause,” she said. “They do the free mammograms here and at the Opelika campus. They have fundraisers all year just for this purpose to make sure that even the uninsured are able to get screened.”

To qualify for the testing, women interested need to be over the age of 40, have no insurance including Medicaid and Medicare and be at least a year removed from their last mammogram. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 334-528-1215.

Sheppard said that the recommendation for all women over 40 is to get tested on an annual basis.

“Everyone over the age of 40 needs to be screened,” she explained. “One of the things we say is that early detection is the best protection. The idea is to find breast cancer early.”

Younger women can be tested, but Sheppard said that is only done in certain situations where they have a family history of breast cancer.

“The only time we usually screen younger women is if their mother or sister was diagnosed just because the makeup of the breast tissue is hard to see through for a mammogram,” Sheppard said. “Younger than 40 would be on a personal basis.”

EAMC Lanier offers the digital mammography testing year round and also has ultrasounds for second opinions and to check on normal results. For treatment, Sheppard said, women are normally admitted to the EAMC campus in Opelika.

The Opelika campus will be raising funds for their EAMC Breast Health for Underserved Women program at their 14th annual Think Pink Walk this Saturday, Oct. 6.