Ladies, starting at age 40, you should get a mammogram every year until the age of 55. After that, you should make it a point to get a mammogram every two years, unless your physician tells you otherwise.

Did you know that a mammogram is the only test shown to reduce breast cancer deaths?

It’s true, something as simple as keeping an annual appointment can save your life.

When cancer is detected early, it’s most treatable. The non-invasive X-ray will detect cancer and other abnormalities long before you can, which can keep you from having to undergo more extensive treatment. Be proactive and be well, ladies.

A common reason many women neglect their annual screening is because they do not have health insurance. Don’t assume that you can’t get screened because you don’t have health insurance. There are ways to get affordable health care. During the month of October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many mammography centers offer mammograms at reduced rates. If you search the FDA’s database, you can find a certified center in your area. Organizations work year round to help women get screened, regardless of their financial and insurance status.

Don’t wait. Be productive when it comes to your health. Talk to your physician and learn what you can do to make sure you are prepared for any risk you may face in the future.

—Kayla Beaty is the managing editor of the Times-Journal. She can be reached at kbeaty@times-journal.com.

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