As the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) recognizes October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, health officials encourage women to receive an annual exam, which can detect breast cancer at an early stage.
Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in women in the United States, but the chances of survival are greatest when detected from self exams (monthly) and clinical breast exams (at least every three years) beginning at age 20. Additionally, an annual mammogram screening, a simple x-ray, is recommended for women over the age of 40 as part of a preventative health examination.
"Early detection is a woman's best protection," said Brenda Kyles, SCHD regional program coordinator.
All women are at risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer but those with a personal history of cancer, a close family member with breast cancer or abnormal breast exam should consult their health care provider specifically about receiving a mammogram.
The SCHD's Tennessee Breast and Cervical Screening Program offers free mammograms to women who meet income guidelines, are uninsured, or have insurance which does not pay for this service.
For more information about breast cancer screening and enrollment into the Tennessee Breast and Cervical Screening Program, contact the SCHD at 901-545-8710, 901-545-8720 or one of the 10 screening providers for an appointment. The locations are as follows:
Christ Community Health Service: 3362 S. Third St., 901-271-6365; 5366 Mendenhall Mall, 901-271-6134; 2861 Broad St., 901-260-8460; 1211 Union Ave., 901-271-0362; 3124 N. Thomas St., 901-260-8422; 2569 Douglass Ave., 901-271-6239;
Memphis Health Centers: 360 E. H. Crump, 901-261-2037; 4940 Highway St., 901-261-7321;
Church Health Center: 1210 Peabody Ave, 901-272-0010 (ext. 2025).
Tri-State HealthCare for Women: 7600 Airways Blvd. # B (662) 349-9370.