Free mammograms for uninsured offered in Granite Falls

GRANITE FALLS — Women who don’t have health insurance can get free mammography tests Saturday through a program offered by the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

The Seattle health care organization’s mobile mammography van scheduled the trip to Granite Falls after being contacted by Soroptimist International of Everett.

“They were interested in doing something with breast cancer screening in a more rural part of Snohomish County,” said Julie Anne Black, who manages the mobile mammography program for the Cancer Care Alliance.

The mobile mammography van makes about 275 visits each year, screening up to 4,000 women.

The mammography services in Granite Falls will be provided to women who do not have health insurance using funding from the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Black said.

“We won’t turn anyone away,” she said. “If someone has private insurance, we certainly would love to book them. But insurance shouldn’t be a barrier.”

Providence’s Comprehensive Breast Center in Everett will provide biopsies to any women needing that follow-up care, said Gayle Jago, the breast center’s manager.

Those services are provided through the annual Pink the Rink fundraiser at Comcast Arena, held in October and sponsored by the Everett Silvertips hockey team.

The rates of breast cancer among Snohomish County women exceed the national average, she said.

Nationally, the incident rate is about 121 per 100,000 women, Jago said. In Snohomish County, the rate is 144 per 100,000.

Snohomish County has the second highest rates of breast cancer in the state, Jago said.

“Women are sitting at home with concerns and worries,” she said. “It’s not right. It’s a very survivable cancer. We just have to find it.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com

Screenings

Free breast cancer screenings for low-income and uninsured women will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance mobile screening van, which will be at the Granite Falls Fire Department, 116 S. Granite Ave. The mammograms are available to women age 40 and up. Bring photo identification. Call 206-288-7800 to schedule a screening.

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