This is the third in a series of four “We Mean Health” articles that can help New Yorkers live healthier lives.
Did you know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime? It’s one of the most common—and expensive—cancers in America.1 In New York alone, nearly 16,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.2
Sobering facts. But there’s an equally, if not more important, one. When it comes to reducing risk, early detection can change breast health outcomes.
Kristen Layne, a physician assistant at AdvantageCare Physicians, says that mammography is the primary tool used to screen for breast cancer and is the most effective way to detect the disease early, which can help increase the chances of survival through early treatment.
Talk to your primary care provider (PCP) to find out when to start getting mammograms, if you are high-risk or not, and how often you should get screened for breast cancer. A PCP may be a doctor, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or other health care professional. In terms of screening frequency, some women may be at elevated risk if they have a family history of the disease. Having a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with breast cancer increases a woman’s risk. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. If you are at higher risk for breast cancer, your provider may recommend more frequent screenings.
While breast cancer is typically found in women, it can affect men as well —although it is more common in older men, it could occur at any age. If you have risk factors, your PCP should check for lumps at your annual checkup.
Breast health and breast cancer awareness opens the door for treating the disease before it progresses, helping avoid costly treatments and loss of income attributed to illness that could have been avoided if detected early. And since women without health insurance are much less likely to get regular mammograms than women with health insurance,3 it’s more important that they find a plan that suits their needs. Access to covered preventive care and screenings is essential to helping women manage their breast health.
To schedule your mammogram, find a PCP who can help you manage your health from your annual checkup to OB/GYN referrals. Review your insurance plan to see what’s covered. Or, if you need a health plan, we can help connect you to coverage that suits your needs.
This article is the third in a series focused on some of the health issues important to keeping New Yorkers healthy. Our fourth article will cover diabetes—its impact on overall health, the importance of screenings, and resources for healthy living.
At EmblemHealth, we go beyond coverage to connect you to nearby care and health and wellness resources that can help keep you healthy. Because we don’t only mean coverage, we mean health. EmblemHealth is one of America’s largest not-for-profit health insurers, serving more than three million people in the New York tristate area. With an over 80-year legacy of serving New York communities, EmblemHealth offers a full range of commercial and government-sponsored health plans to employers, individuals, and families as well as virtual and in-person community resources through EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021
2 NY State Department of Health, 2021
*AdvantageCare Physicians is a subsidiary of EmblemHealth and is one of the largest primary and specialty care medical practices in the New York area. AdvantageCare Physicians’ team-based approach to care means EmblemHealth members have access to doctors, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, behavioral health specialists, and other professionals. Through BronxDocs, an affiliate of AdvantageCare Physicians, EmblemHealth members and other patients also have access to primary and specialty care in the Bronx.