Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

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(CBS) Thanks to early detection and regular mammograms, The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler is facing the possibility of having breast cancer armed with knowledge and courage.

Because of her family history, she is at a very high risk of developing this disease. Her mother and father both had breast cancer.

The good news is that her mother is a six-year survivor, due to early detection. And Syler has recently had a round of biopsies and the tests have all come back benign.

While going through this scary time, she encourages viewers to take charge of their health and get regular mammograms. All women are at risk of breast cancer with advancing age, regardless of family history.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many mammography facilities that would normally be full-price are offering free or low-cost exams for women. So why not pledge to get your mammogram done by National Mammography Day, Oct. 17, or by your next birthday?

Some facilities will offer the reduced cost or free mammograms just on the 17th, and others extend the offer for the entire week or month. Just click on the names marked in red below, and you will be directly linked to the corresponding Web sites.

  • The American College of Radiology – Search for these facilities in your area. The facilities that are participating will be listed with a pink ribbon designation.
  • Local Susan G. Komen Foundation Affiliate: Komen affiliates raise money to help local underserved women obtain breast health services. The affiliate will have a listing of organizations to which they have granted funding, so call to see what services might be available in your area. To locate your nearest affiliate, log onto the Komen Foundation Web site.
  • Planned Parenthood Clinics: Women can make an appointment for all types of low-cost or free health services, including breast health, with the clinic nearest them by calling 1-800-230-PLAN (800-230-7526).
  • YWCA Encore Plus Programs: Services are provided on a sliding scale. Screening mammography is available to women 35 years and older who are medically underserved. Call 1-800-95-EPLUS (1-800-953-7587).
  • CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Programs: Offer low-cost mammograms and clinical breast exams to women between the ages of 40-64. States are legally able to narrow the age range, so call your state to find out if you are eligible for this program. They may also have information about other facilities in their area for younger women. Call toll-free 1-888-842-6355 (select option 7) or log onto the above Web site for information specific to your area.

In New York City:

BeSMART! – Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s mobile mammography program BeSMART! (Select Mammography As a Routine Test). For more information call 212-965-3600.

Breast Examination Center of Harlem (BECH) – An outreach program of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. It offers the Harlem community mammograms for free. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 212-531-8000. The Center is located at:
163 West 125th Street, Fourth Floor
New York, NY 10027

To find a certified radiology center in your area, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Web site offers a list of facilities, which is updated weekly. Just click here.

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