What Should I Know Before My Mammogram Appointment
There are things you can do before your appointment to make your mammogram more comfortable and to get the clearest X-ray:
Your breasts may be tender and swollen the week before and during your period, so try to schedule your mammogram after your period, when your breasts are less sensitive.
Dont wear deodorant, perfume, or powder the day of your mammogram. They can make the X-ray less clear.
Theyll ask you to undress from the waist up when you get a mammogram, so you may want to wear a top and pants or a skirt instead of a dress.
If you have breast implants, mention it when you make your appointment.
Let your doctor know if youre pregnant. Screening mammograms arent typically done during pregnancy.
If it makes you more comfortable, you can ask to have a mammogram technician whos the same gender as you when you make your appointment.
Fact Check: Schumers Claim That Millions Of Women Turn To Planned Parenthood For Mammograms
Thu., March 9, 2017
There are some claims about abortion and Planned Parenthood that just wont go away. One of them is the repeat claim about Planned Parenthood and mammograms. So of course, Schumers tweet caught our attention.
As Congress debates a GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act, many Democratic lawmakers are coming to the defense of Planned Parenthood, whose federal funds would be cut under the House Republicans plan.
Mammograms have come to symbolize whether Planned Parenthood truly is a health-care organization, as supporters say, or mainly an abortion provider that masquerades as a reproductive health organization, as opponents say. Supporters of Planned Parenthood point to mammograms to illustrate the organizations role in cancer screening and prevention for women.
Supporters of Planned Parenthood often use slippery language to use this talking point. We previously gave Three Pinocchios to claims that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms and other types of care for millions of women. In light of Schumers tweet, we reviewed the facts again.
Planned Parenthood does referrals for mammograms, and some affiliates host free mammography mobile vans for low-income and uninsured women. It does not have mammogram machines at its affiliate clinics. The Food and Drug Administrations list, updated weekly, of certified mammography facilities does not list any Planned Parenthood clinics.
Local journalism is essential.
What If I Dont Have Health Insurance
First things first: whatever your current health or financial situation, its smart to have health insurance. And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, there are more ways to get insured than ever.
Even if you dont think you can afford insurance, take a few minutes to explore your options on HealthCare.gov. Depending on your income and what state you live in, you might be able to get help affording a plan through the marketplace, or you might qualify for Medicaid.
If you can get coverage through the marketplace or Medicaid, breast cancer screening should be fully covered. If you cant get insurance coverage right now, dont give up on taking care of your breast health.
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When Should I Get A Mammogram
There are 2 types of mammograms: screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms. Screening mammograms are ones you get as part of a regular checkup if youve had no symptoms. They let your doctor see whats normal for your breasts and if there are any changes since your last mammogram.
Mammogram guidelines vary. Most people with breasts should get screening mammograms every 1-2 years starting at age 40. You may need get one before you turn 40 if someone in your family had breast cancer at a young age, or if you have cysts in your breasts, which can hide the symptoms of breast cancer.
Diagnostic mammograms focus on potential breast problem areas. Your doctor might recommend a diagnostic mammogram after discovering a lump during a clinical breast exam or after an abnormal screening mammogram.
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Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat, stood up Wednesday for Planned Parenthood by declaring that its affiliates provide mammograms, a claim that has been repeatedly debunked.
At a Fox News town hall, Ms. Klobuchar took the Trump administration to task for attempting to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood for America, the nations largest abortion provider, pointing to the other services it offers.
In their lifetime, one in five women go there, she said. And most of them are going there for contraception, birth control, theyre going there for mammograms, theyre going there for cancer screenings, and yet over and over again, this president has tried to cut that funding for Planned Parenthood.
As pro-life groups have been quick to point out, PPFA affiliates provide breast exams and mammogram referrals, as the Planned Parenthood website says, but not mammography.
Ms. Klobuchar, a 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, is hardly the first Democrat to make that claim. During his 2012 reelection bid, President Barack Obama was fact-checked after saying at least twice on the campaign trail that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms.
Women cant walk into a Planned Parenthood clinic and get a mammogram on the spot, said FactCheck.org in a 2012 post. The clinics dont have mammography equipment.
Come on Martha . Planned Parenthood NEVER did a mammogram. Why did you let Klobachar get away with that one?
vicki crist May 8, 2019
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Reminder For Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Planned Parenthood Does Not Do Mammograms
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as people turn their lives pink in order to raise awareness for breast cancer, theres one thing we should all remember: Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms. While former President Cecile Richards pushed the lie that Planned Parenthood offers mammograms, there is not a single Planned Parenthood facility in the United States that is certified by the FDA to perform mammograms.
However, this myth persists. A Facebook user created this meme below, and then bullied the one person who dared speak the truth. While Planned Parenthood provides manual breast exams, it does not provide mammograms yet frequently, when the public thinks of breast cancer screenings, mammograms are what come to mind:
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2019 an individuals Facebook post
Its true that wearing pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month wont cure breast cancer, but neither will Planned Parenthood. The difference is that the people wearing pink are showing support for the individuals they love who have fought breast cancer, as well as all the people who have been in that battle at any point in time. They are raising awareness in hopes of a cure. Planned Parenthood, on the other hand, fired its president Dr. Leana Wen for being more interested in offering health care for women instead of focusing on promoting abortion.
READ: Santorum educates The View: Planned Parenthood doesnt provide mammograms
Women’s Voices For Change
Department Chair, Obstetrics & Gynecology and Womens HealthProfessor, Gynecologic OncologyMontefiore Health System, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
If Planned Parenthood is defunded nationally, far more women will be forced to give up the timely care they need to detect and prevent cancer. Its time to rethink the definition of what Planned Parenthood does. . .
When you hear the words Planned Parenthood, its likely the first thing that comes to mind is family planning. This now-iconic institution remains a vital safe space for women who want accessible birth control and reproductive healthcare. What you may not know is that Planned Parenthood health centers are also on the front lines fighting a variety of cancers, providing critical screenings including everything from breast and pelvic exams to pap smears. In fact, since it was founded 100 years ago, Planned Parenthood has become an integral part of our overburdened healthcare system, offering crucial, life-saving screening exams for women.
As an oncologist, I know the difference Planned Parenthood screenings can make. They help doctors like me save lives.
Despite advances in womens health care, the U.S. medical system struggles to meet basic needs. Federally funded community health centers are over-extended and offer limited access. More than half of Planned Parenthoods 650 health centers are in communities facing severe medical-provider shortages, where routine screenings can be difficult to obtain.
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What Can I Do To Keep My Breasts Healthy
Some breast cancer risks cant be controlled, like your age or having a family history of breast cancer. But there are some things you can do to reduce your risk:
Stay at a healthy weight.
Make exercising a part of your life.
Dont smoke cigarettes.
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
Avoid chemicals that are linked to cancer. Some chemicals and harmful things around you in your daily life can affect your breasts. This includes some foods, makeup, plastics, and household products. Ask your doctor or nurse for more information.
If possible, breastfeed your baby.
Its also important to talk to your doctor or nurse about breast cancer screenings. Though breast screenings cant prevent cancer, they can help to find cancer earlier, when they are easier to treat.
The Repeated Misleading Claim That Planned Parenthood Provides Mammograms
All of the signatories are men. None of whom will get pregnant, or need a cervical screening for cancer, or a mammogram, or a pap smear, or other life-saving services that are provided by Planned Parenthood.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney , House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on Planned Parenthood funding, Sept. 29, 2015
Readers asked us to fact-check Planned Parenthood supporters claims that the organization provides mammograms. Maloneys statement above appeared to contradict comments by Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richardss repeated claim at a Sept. 29 congressional hearing that the organization does not, in fact, offer mammograms or have mammogram machines in its clinics.
Maloney did not directly say the organization administers mammograms. Later in the hearing, she said a similar claim in a more accurate way that women have access to mammograms via Planned Parenthood. But her comments made us wonder just how prevalent this claim was among Planned Parenthood supporters at large.
Turns out, supporters have continued to assert that Planned Parenthood offers mammograms even though it has been debunked for years. Even more problematic: High-profile supporters continue to repeat it, such as comedian Margaret Cho and Whoopi Goldberg . Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison even grabbed headlines during Septembers Miss America contest, when she said Planned Parenthoods federal funding goes for mammograms.
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Cecile Richards Former Planned Parenthood President
In 2011, Cecile Richards was president of Planned Parenthood. She sat for an interview with TV personality Joy Behar and discussed current issues. During the interview, they talked about a proposal in Congress that would take federal monies from Planned Parenthood. Richards said: If this bill ever becomes law, millions of women in this country are going to lose their health care accessnot to abortion services, but basic family planning. You know, mammograms, cancer screenings, cervical cancer.
She didnt specifically say that Planned Parenthood offers mammograms. However, those listeningincluding the mediajumped on the notion that women might lose access to necessary healthcare. And since Richards mentioned mammograms, the media and others ran with it. They began to say that women wouldnt get the mammograms that they need. Thus, they either ignored or wrongly interpreted the meaning of the word access.
How Common Is Breast Cancer
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in cis women. When it comes to the breast cancer statistics, about 1 in 8 will get breast cancer. Its also the second deadliest type of cancer for cis women. Over 240,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the U.S. and 40,000 people die from the disease.
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Chart: Why Planned Parenthood Does Not Help Poor Women
Robert Gehl reports defenders of public funding for Planned Parenthood justify the hundreds of thousands of abortions they perform annually like to point out all the breast cancer screenings they perform.
Like that makes it all okay, right?
Except its a lie.
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Hillary Clinton made the same comments during the third Presidential debate Wednesday night, claiming that Planned Parenthood provides cancer screenings and should still receive taxpayer money.
As Breitbart reports, this is mostly false.
The idea that Planned Parenthood provides these kinds of services like mammograms is highly misleading because they dont actually administer the procedures. They only provide referrals to other facilities who can actually do the screenings.
The Washington Post put it thusly: Rather, the situation is similar to other clinics where patients are referred to a licensed facility that can provide biopsies, X-rays or other specialized services. It is slightly more accurate to say that women have access to mammograms via Planned Parenthood, though its still slippery language.
In their defense, Planned Parenthood does provide Pap Smear tests and HPV testing, which can screen for cervical cancer, but they most certainly do not screen for breast cancer.
At the debate, Clinton promised to continue to support Planned Parenthood from proposed de-funding and reiterated her support for Roe v. Wade.
Are Mammograms Accurate
Mammograms are accurate and effective but its possible to get inaccurate results. Sometimes a spot will show up on the X-ray, but a follow-up test will determine that its nothing to worry about. In other cases, a mammogram may not find breast cancer thats there. While mammograms aren’t perfect, they remain an important tool in finding breast cancer.
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What Is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a disease that attacks the tissue in one or both of your breasts. Breast cancer happens when cells stop working correctly, creating abnormal cells that grow uncontrollably. These cancer cells can form tumors and if left untreated, can spread to other parts of your body.
While its possible for anyone to be diagnosed with breast cancer, the disease occurs almost entirely in cisgender women.
Mammograms: An Emotional Tinderbox
Breast cancer: Two words that rightly terrify women. It doesnt matter what race, age, or color. According to MD Anderson, one of the nations leading cancer hospitals, breast cancer takes the lives of about 40,000 women per year. In addition, there are about 265,000 new diagnoses each year. Fortunately, the five-year survival rate is almost 90%. The earlier the cancer is caught, the better a womans chances.
So its natural that women are scared. Its natural that they want to be screened and tested. Its natural that they dont want to lose a part of themselves. And its natural that they dont want to die. Couple these fears with a lack of money, and you have a recipe for anxiety. Many women struggle financially. They often wonder how theyll pay for a doctor, and they fear needing extra tests.
So where do low-income women turn when they need testing?
If you ask the average person, you may find that he/she recommends Planned Parenthood. After all, politicians have falsely claimed for years that the organization offers mammograms.
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Why Does The Myth Persist
We know that Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms. A simple google search proves this. Yet politicians and TV personalities often state otherwise. Why?
We live in a culture where people have not learned to think for themselves. Nor do they search for facts. They are willing to believe whatever suits their belief system. They do so even if that belief system is based more on emotion than on facts. Oftentimes people put more stock in what they see on social media or on memes than in the truth.
The myth that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms exposes a larger and more widespread problem in our society. People believe everything they see or hear. They then pass this misinformation along to others. They dont take time to check whether something is true or not.
Many politicians back Planned Parenthood. The media backs Planned Parenthood. Knowing this, we must all be cautious. We must fact-check what we read and what we see on social media. We must do our best to pass along only what is true.
The media does have an agenda. If we are not careful, we will fall prey to it, and then we will never see the truth. Now more than ever, we need the truth. Does Planned Parenthood do mammograms? Absolutely not.
Does Free Mean Low
Free mammograms and discounted mammograms must be done with the same quality and care as full-price breast screening. Just because the service is free does not mean that the quality is low.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does annual inspections at clinics that do mammography. They check up on the machines and all the staff that are associated with their mammography program.
You can easily search for FDA-approved mammography providers by zip code, state, city, or name of the facility. Once you find the facility closest to you, call and ask about low-cost and free mammograms.
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Planned Parenthood Financial Data
In addition to releasing information about medical data each year, Planned Parenthood releases annual financial data as well. This financial information is for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a 501, not to be confused with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which is the organizations political action committee.
Related: What I Learned Working The Front Desk At Planned Parenthood
Before that day, I had never noticed anything wrong with my body. But after days of mammograms that squished my breasts as flat as crepes, I could feel the lump growing, agitated, first into a marble and then, eventually, to the size of a golf ball. The doctor said it took up the majority of my breast. I had my double mastectomy on June 11, 2013exactly a month after I first felt the lumpand started chemo about three weeks after my surgery.
At the start of all of this, I had just left a job, and I had to undergo a 90-day waiting period to join my new companys insurance plan. That meant I didnt have health insurance. Of course, prior to finding the pebble-sized lump that changed my life, I was young and felt indestructible, so I didnt start a new plan in between jobs. We all think well be just fine, and then your worst nightmare becomes reality.
My worst nightmare didnt concern what would happen to me, necessarily, but what would happen to my daughter, Emma, who was 2 and a half when this all began, and my sister, 16 then, who I raised after our mom passed away in 2009. I was all that they had and I needed to go into survival mode for my family. I had no idea how I would afford treatment without insurance.
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