Are you overdue for your routine breast-cancer screening? Many women in the MIT community are entitled to free mammograms at MIT Medical — and staff are spreading the word in October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Lisa Owens, chief radiologic technician at MIT Medical, was among those who handed out information and free gifts to women who stopped by the pink-ribbon-bedecked display in Lobby 10 on Oct. 19. She explained that any woman between 40 and 70 who works at MIT and is enrolled in any MIT-sponsored health-insurance plan can get a mammogram with no referral and no copay by calling MIT Medical's Radiology Service at 617-253-4905 to make an appointment. Employees whose primary care providers are not at MIT Medical must first preregister with Patient Registration by calling 617-253-6286.
Seven women signed up for a mammogram at the Oct. 19 event, said Owens, who also educated some younger women about basic breast-cancer detection. "A couple of students didn't even know what a mammogram was, so we explained the guidelines and how to do a breast self-exam," she said.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that women get a mammogram every two years starting at age 40 and annually after age 50. Screenings can start earlier for women at higher risk of breast cancer; ACS suggests that women discuss their individual risk factors and mammograms with their primary care providers.
There will be another mammogram education and sign-up session in Lobby 10 on Tuesday, Oct. 26, from noon to 2 p.m. In addition to learning more about mammograms and making appointments, women who stop by will get free gifts and can enter a raffle for several prizes.
Other MIT Medical staff assisting at the Lobby 10 events include Karen Najjar, senior secretary in Internal Medicine; Kelley Adams, health educator in Community Wellness at MIT Medical; and Ruth Fishbein, performance improvement coordinator.