Free mammograms at UnityPoint Health, women encouraged to get tested

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and UnityPoint Health is making it easier to for women to stay up to date on their breast health.

Friday was National Mammography Day and UnityPoint Health offered free of charge mammograms on Free-Mammo Day. Uninsured or underinsured women ages 40-64 could receive mammograms free of charge.

The service offered at three campuses across Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and Marshall counties. Sara Lawson, a mammographer at UnityPoint Methodist says the older women get, the higher their risk is for breast cancer.

Lawson said once a woman turns 40 they should go in for their first breast health examination. She said it’s important to catch the cancer as soon as possible and get their breasts examined every year.

“Every year that you get older, your risk increases,” Lawson said. “Your family history plays a part into it, your hormone use plays a part into it as well as when you started your menstrueal cycler and when all that stopped.”

Lawson wants people to know that while COVID-19 is not going away anyway soon, women will still be able to get their breasts examined safely.

“We’re all wearing mask and some sort of face shield,” Lawson said. “Everything is being cleaned before the patient comes in, we’re cleaning pins off. We’re wiping down dressing rooms, the waiting room.”

UnityPoint offers the free mammograms to uninsured or underinsured women year round at all of their locations.

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