What You Need to Know About Breast Health

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What You Need to Know About Breast Health

When it comes to reducing the risk of cancer, early detection can change breast health outcomes.

10/04/2022
A mid adult woman getting a mammogram. She is being helped by an African-American nurse.

Did you know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime? It’s one of the most common—and expensive—cancers in America.1 In Connecticut, nearly 3,100 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.2  

 

Sobering facts. But there’s an equally, if not more important, one. When it comes to reducing risk, early detection can change breast health outcomes. 

  

The American Cancer Society recommends women should get an annual mammogram starting at age 40. Talk to your primary care provider (PCP) to find out when to start getting mammograms, if you are high-risk or not, and how often you should get screened for breast cancer. Mammograms are among the routine screening and vaccinations you can get at no cost from in-network providers. An in-network provider is a provider who contracts with us. Access to covered preventive care and screenings is essential to helping women manage their breast health.

 

Having a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with breast cancer increases a woman’s risk. Having dense breasts can also make it difficult to detect cancer, since cancer and breast tissue both appear white on a mammogram.3 The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. If you are at higher risk for breast cancer, your provider may recommend more frequent screenings, or supplemental testing, which may have an out-of-pocket cost.

 

While breast cancer is typically found in women, it can affect men as well —although it is more common in older men, it could occur at any age. If you have risk factors, your PCP should check for lumps at your annual checkup.

 

Breast health and breast cancer awareness opens the door for treating the disease before it progresses, helping avoid costly treatments and loss of income attributed to illness that could have been avoided if detected early. And since women without health insurance are much less likely to get regular mammograms than women with health insurance,4 it’s more important that they find a plan that suits their needs.

 

To schedule your mammogram, find a PCP or OB/GYN who can help you manage your health. Review your insurance plan to see what’s covered. If you need help, call the number on your member ID card.

 

We also invite you to visit our ConnectiCare Centers. ConnectiCare Centers are community spaces across Connecticut (including Waterbury, Farmington, Manchester, and Shelton) providing in-person support for sale and service. They also offer wellness and fitness programs to members and the general public at no cost.

 

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021
  2. American Cancer Society
  3. Dense breast tissue: What it means to have dense breasts
  4. https://www.komen.org/breast-cancer/screening/screening-disparities/

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