Q: What is mobile mammography?
A: A mammogram is a special low-dose x-ray of the breast used for detecting abnormalities of the breast tissue. WellCareAmerica's mammography unit is a mobile unit that performs screening mammograms at locations convenient to you. Aboard our mobile unit, an experienced and certified radiology technician will perform a mammogram, which is read by a board-certified radiologist. The results are then sent to you and your health care provider. The screening takes approximately 15 minutes, giving you more time to do what is important to you.
Q: Why should I visit the WellCareAmerica unit instead of an imaging center?
A: WellCareAmerica's mobile mammography unit comes to a location convenient to you saving you time. It also takes away the hassle of scheduling and driving to a Healthcare facility to have the imaging done. Our unit is equipped with state-of-the-art Hologic Selenia Full Field Digital mammography equipment that is accredited by the ACR and certified by the FDA-the same equipment you would find at Imaging centers across the country. The screening takes approximately 15 minutes and the results are sent to you and your health care provider.
Q: Is my mammogram covered by my insurance?
A: The Affordable Care Act states that preventive care should be provided with no co-pay and no deductible. Therefore, your insurance may cover one screening mammogram per year. If you provide us with your insurance information, we will file the claim with your insurance provider.
Q: Why do I need a yearly mammogram?
A: It’s true that younger women are less frequently diagnosed with breast cancer. But when they are diagnosed, the cancer is likely to be more aggressive and fast growing. Therefore, early detection is important for a positive outcome. Detecting cancer while it is small and still confined to the breast is the goal of screening mammography.
Q: Are mammograms painful?
A: Most women feel no pain from having a mammogram. However, some patients are sensitive and may feel some discomfort. If desired, you may take acetaminophen an hour before your mammogram to avoid any discomfort.
Q: Why should I perform monthly breast self-examinations?
A: Monitoring your breasts for changes is the reason to conduct breast self-exams. Have any lumps grown in size? Has the skin on your breasts thickened? Do your breasts feel the same as they did last month? If not, you should contact your healthcare provider.
Q: What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?
A: Unfortunately, there is not much one can do to reduce their risk of breast cancer. Adopting a healthy lifestyle – eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly – can reduce the risk slightly, as do pregnancy and breast-feeding. Most risks for breast cancer, however, can't be controlled.
Gender is the greatest risk factor. Women are more likely to get breast cancer, though men may also get it. Family history is the next greatest risk. Other risks are menopause, race, taking oral contraceptives or postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy, drinking alcohol and eating a high-fat diet.
Q: What is the breast cancer gene, and what does it mean?
A: Genes are the genetic blueprints of our bodies. Passed down from our parents, genes determine everything from our eye color, to our height to the size of our shoe. Sometimes genes can mutate, though it is rare and this can also be passed on from parent to child. These gene mutations can increase the risk of certain diseases, such as breast cancer.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are two gene mutations linked to breast cancer risk. These gene mutations are rare. They occur in only one in 400 people in the United States. BRCA1 carrier have a 55-65% chance of developing breast cancer by age 70, while BRCA2 carriers have a 45% chance of developing the disease by age 70.
The risks are not 100 percent. Many women with the BRCA 1 and BRCA2 mutations will never develop breast cancer. However, if diagnosed with these mutations, preventive screenings are of paramount importance.