Mammograms, like it or not, are a fact of life for women after 40. For many, even earlier.
One CostHelper reader points out that a lack of funds does not need to be a stumbling block. She points out there are often free mammogram services available women who do not have health insurance.
Our reader qualified for a free diagnostic mammogram offered in Utah to patients who meet certain criteria -- such as being low-income or in a certain age bracket. But that program is hardly alone. Across the country, free and low-cost breast cancer screening services are available.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a program the helps low-income women connect with services in their area. The National Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program lists programs in every state and U.S. territory that offer breast cancer screening.
In California, for example, Every Woman Counts provides free breast cancer screening to low-income Californians who meet certain requirements. Those who are diagnosed with breast cancer frequently qualify for free treatment as well.
In New York, the Cancer Services Program offers free mammograms to low-income women older than 40. Women younger than 40 are also eligible if they are at high risk of developing breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society offers a similar service to the CDC's, providing patients with information about local screening facilities.
With options like those, financial concerns become less of a stumbling block in accessing medical care.