In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Loretto Hospital is offering free mammograms for uninsured and underinsured residents of Austin throughout the month of October.
Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer among all women.
While the incidence of breast cancer is slightly lower among Black women than their white counterparts, Black women have a higher rate of breast cancer deaths – possibly because cancers tend to be detected at a later stage in Blacks than whites. The five-year survival rate for Black women diagnosed with breast cancer is 71%, compared to 87 % for white women.
“Early detection is vital for individuals diagnosed with breast cancer and providing access to this care annually is one of our top priorities,” Mary Rinder, director of diagnostic imaging at Loretto Hospital, said in a statement. “Loretto Hospital is determined to ensure our community has the best preventative and routine care possible, regardless of race or insurance status.”
The Austin hospital, 645 S. Central Ave., offers state-of-the-art technology that uses low-dose x-rays to produce a three-dimensional image of the breast tissue, which helps radiologists detect cancer when it is most treatable.
This Food and Drug Administration-approved technology is considered superior to conventional 2D mammography alone, especially for women with dense tissue. The 3D images can separate breast tissue that may appear overlapping in 2D imaging.
Free screening mammograms are available to Austin residents living in the 60651, 60644, 60624, 60623 and 60612 ZIP codes.
Women living outside these ZIP codes can take advantage of Loretto’s reduced rate of $75 per mammogram through the end of October. Certain restrictions apply.