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Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 3.29.43 PMIt’s October and time to be pink!

Julie and her friend Cindy were watching an NFL game and shared the excitement over the pink shoes, pink towels and pink ribbons that were all over the TV set and on the football field.

Their husbands reminded them that a football game was being played and offered to discuss the 3-4 defense and the play-option run on the last snap from scrimmage.

The ladies were reminded that someone needed to look at their breasts and shouted “mammogram time!” at the top of their lungs.

They decided to go get a mammogram together, but Cindy remembered she did not have health insurance. Money was tight and they could not afford the premiums. Julie had seen a flyer the other day for “Mission: Mammography!” and suggested that they could both go to the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center to get their mammograms.

WIVK and the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center team up every October to offer free screening mammograms for women who cannot afford screening mammograms.

A screening mammogram is a mammogram taken when a woman has no masses in her breasts or no other significant breast problems.

A woman who has a known mass or another significant breast issue is able to have breast imaging through the County Health Department as part of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program. This is available in nearly every county in Tennessee.

Mammograms save lives, especially for women in the 50-75 age group, but also for younger women who are at higher risk for breast cancer because breast cancer runs in their families.

The two greatest risk factors for developing breast cancer are having breasts and having birthdays. By having yearly screening mammograms, you are better able to keep your breasts and to keep having more birthdays. The other big risk factor for breast cancer is having had family members with breast cancer.

Whether it is your mom, your sister or your daughter, a family member with breast cancer puts you at increased risk. Sometimes, families with young members with colon cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer or pancreatic cancer are also at risk for breast cancer.

So, whether you have many family members with breast or ovarian cancer or if you are a woman of distinction (i.e. over age 40), you should come to the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center and get your mammogram – even if you cannot afford a mammogram, we’ll find a way to get you your mammogram.

The first 107 women who are unable to afford a screening mammogram can come to the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center in October and have a screening mammogram.

If you are a number after 107, we can still help you find resources to help you get that mammogram. And if you have a mass in your breast, we can help you get in contact with the county health department to arrange for a mammogram and ultrasound at the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center.

Jill and Cindy were excited. They called the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center at 865-584-0291 and scheduled their mammograms.

They did it for their children. They did it for their husbands. They did it for each other. But most importantly, they did it for themselves.