(Name has been changed to protect privacy)
Ann was a 46-year-old unemployed wife and mother who had not had a mammogram in 5 years, due to lack of insurance. She saw an announcement about a free breast screening and mammograms offered by Randolph Hospital and signed up. Funding for these screenings was provided through a grant from the Northwest NC Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Ann’s screening mammogram identified an abnormality, which led to a diagnostic ultrasound, a referral to BCCCP and a positive DCIS diagnosis. Ann later received a lumpectomy, radiation. and participation in a clinical trial. An extensive family history revealed that Ann had male and female breast cancer in her family, as well as ovarian cancer.
Had it not been for the funding from Komen Northwest NC that sponsored these screenings, Ann may not have been able to get a mammogram for several more years and this diagnosis could have been much more complicated. While on the BCCCP Medicaid , Ann was able to address several other health issues and has greatly improved her quality of life.
Today, Ann is cancer-free and understands the importance of regular screening. She is compliant and receives screenings annually. Without the Komen Northwest NC Affiliate, the ending of this story would be very different.
Forsyth Medical Foundation
My story is the impact Komen is making on the lives of the women who want to do something for themselves- such as an annual mammogram – and still find themselves unemployed or underinsured. I see “repeaters “ at the mobile screenings now and they constantly praise Komen for their help. At the last mobile, I polled each woman about insurance and they cannot afford what the ACA is offering. One out of twenty had insurance – the one had a policy through her religious faith that did not cover mammograms. This is just the tip of the iceberg that we will be seeing in the future. I am proud that Komen is there for these women, that these women are doing something for themselves and often having a friend come with them and that there is a network of care in place in case a positive diagnosis is found.
The Imaging Center: A Department of Northern Hospital
“Peggy, an outgoing, bubbly, 42-year-old mom of four children saw our Susan G. Komen® Northwest NC Community Grant poster at her physician’s office. She had never had a mammogram and did not have medical insurance. She called Northern Hospital of Surry County and spoke to me to see if she qualified.
She arrived a few days later for her screening mammogram. Her results were negative. She had lots of questions about Susan G. Komen® Northwest NC, as well as Breast Health and Breast Imaging.
Posters were distributed around the community to promote a Breast Health Educational Seminar. There were about 20 in attendance including 3 teenage girls. There were Susan G. Komen® Educational materials on-hand, each participant was given the Breast Self Awareness Shower Card an assortment of Facts for Life, a Pre- and Post-Test, and a Pink Northern Hospital of Surry County logo pen. The group was educated about Breast Health, Breast Density, Breast Imaging recommendations (as well as what to expect), our Susan G. Komen® Northwest NC Community Grant, and about all of the exciting things Susan G. Komen® Northwest NC offered and the opportunities available. All were encouraged to form or join a Race for the Cure team. All participated in a fun Pre- and Post-Test that highlights Susan G. Komen® Northwest NC, their Promise, and website. I closed with questions and the offered to schedule a screening mammogram for those needing one.
Donna, a 45-year-old woman, approached me. She had come with her mother and her teenage daughter. She had lost her job a couple of years ago and had not had a mammogram in several years. I spoke with her privately and found that she would qualify for a no-cost mammogram through the Susan G. Komen® Northwest NC Community Grant. We called and made her appointment that night for the next week.
She came the next week and had a screening mammogram. Her results showed a new nodule that required additional diagnostic mammography and ultrasound. All of this was covered because of our grant. Donna’s results were suspicious and required a biopsy. I spoke to her about our Collaboration with Surry County Health and Nutrition Center and encouraged her to call to see if she qualified for BCCCP, prior to her biopsy. Our grant only covers Breast Imaging and in case she required surgery or cancer treatment, she possibly would need other options. She had her ultrasound-guided core biopsy and thankfully the results were a Benign/Fibroadenoma.
Donna and Peggy have already called to inquire if we received another grant; they still have no insurance and are verbally thankful for all Susan G. Komen® Northwest NC does for our communities.”
– Tammy Branch, Northern Hospital of Surry County Mammography Coordinator and Project Director