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Fairmont General Hospital To Provide Free Mammograms To Uninsured Patients

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FAIRMONT -

Women between the ages of 35 and 50 are at the highest risk for developing breast cancer.

Stella Hawk was always worried she would eventually end up with cancer.

"My family has a history. A lot of them have had cancer and passed away. He said I wish you'd stop worrying about getting cancer. You know, go home and stop worrying. I came to Fairmont General Hospital, I just started volunteering, and got a second opinion. Thank God I did," she said.

The death rate in Marion County due to breast cancer is 25 percent higher than the national and state average.

Fairmont General Hospital employees said one thing women shouldn't have to worry about is whether or not they can afford a yearly mammogram. That's why it has introduced its new Breast Care Program.

"If those entities cannot provide a mammogram for a woman and they are between the ages of 35 and 50, Fairmont General now has a breast program where we will provide a free mammogram for women who are under insured or uninsured," said Tricia Julian, Program Coordinator for Oncology Services.

There are several qualifications a person needs to meet.

You must be between the ages of 35 and 50, not covered by any health insurance, have a physician's order, be a West Virginia resident, and your income must be below 150 percent of the National Poverty Guideline.

"There are so many women in West Virginia who work and do not have insurance," Hawk said. "These are the ladies that need this. They need to know they can come and get a mammogram. You have to have the yearly checks."

Screenings will be done in the hospitals new state-of-the-art digital mammography unit.

"The newer one is a lot faster, it has clearer images, the doctor gets the results faster. We get our results faster. Its just better. The technology is much, much better," Hawk said.

Stella Hawk is now 22 years cancer free and believes yearly mammograms are extremely important.

"You need the screenings because so much can change in such a little time. The sooner you find something, the quicker you can take care of it and you can recover," she said.

Reduced rate mammograms may also be available to patients who do not meet the Breast Care Program guidelines.

If you would like additional information on the Breast Care Program, you can contact Tricia Julian at 304-367-7247.