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SEPTEMBER 29, 1997

Home & Garden

Free gift encourages women to schedule mammograms

  NW News Staff
   In an effort to encourage more Puget Sound area women to make breast health a life-long priority, five local hospitals are sponsoring a program that offers women 40 and older a free gift if they schedule a mammogram before Oct. 31.
   All women need to do is call 1-800-793-3474 and schedule a mammogram at any of 11 Puget Sound area sites before the end of October. Participating hospitals include Evergreen Hospital Medical Center in Kirkland, Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, MultiCare Health System in Tacoma, Highline Community Hospital Health Care Network in Burien and Stevens Healthcare in Edmonds.
   The mammogram does not need to take place in October; it just needs to be scheduled during October. Women will be mailed a certificate redeemable for a free Nordstrom lingerie organizer or Sunset Magazine cookbook. Gifts may be redeemed through Nov. 15 at any Puget Sound area Nordstrom Lingerie Department. Supplies are limited, so women are encouraged to call right away.
   The mammogram itself is not free, but mammograms are not expensive and may even be covered by health insurance. Many of the participating hospitals offer financial assistance for women without insurance, or those unable to afford the test.
   The goal of this program is to promote the importance of regular breast health checkups, especially for women 40 or older and women with a family history of breast cancer.
   Although one in eight women will get breast cancer, 90 percent of breast cancer cases can be treated successfully if detected early - when more treatment options are available. Mammograms can detect breast cancer up to two years before a lump can be felt.
   The American Cancer Society encourages all women 40 and older to have a mammogram every year. It also recommends that all women perform monthly breast self-exam, along with a clinical breast exam performed by their health care provider at their annual check-up.