October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to spreading knowledge about the most common type of cancer found in women. As Medicare beneficiaries, it’s crucial for us to stay informed and be proactive when it comes to our health. Here’s what you need to know about breast cancer awareness and the preventive screenings covered by Medicare.
Breast Cancer and Age
Women over 60 make up nearly half of new breast cancer cases, and an additional 20% of cases affect women over 70. That’s why it’s essential for us, as Medicare beneficiaries, to be aware of the risks and the importance of early detection.
Medicare Coverage for Preventative Screenings
Medicare now covers specific preventative screenings, such as mammograms, which can detect breast cancer before any signs or symptoms appear. Detecting breast cancer at an early stage significantly improves treatment outcomes.
Mammograms are covered once every 12 months for women aged 40 and older. Medicare also covers one baseline mammogram for women between 35-39.
If medically necessary, Medicare Part B covers diagnostic mammograms more than once a year. You’ll be responsible for 20% of the Medicare-approved cost after meeting any Part B deductibles.
In addition to regular screenings, it’s crucial to be aware of potential warning signs. These symptoms could indicate a problem and should be discussed with your healthcare provider:
- Lump on the breast: This is the most common symptom, and it’s important to note that 20% of lumps are cancerous.
- Breast discharge of any kind.
- Swelling and soreness in the underarm or breast.
- Nipple inversion or skin dimpling.
- Skin changes: Look out for redness, peeling, flaking, or crusting, either in a specific area or across the entire breast.
Breast Cancer Awareness: A Unified Effort
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a time for all of us to come together, educate ourselves, and support those impacted by breast cancer. Medicare plays a vital role in ensuring individuals have access to the healthcare services they need during their breast cancer journey.
By staying informed, advocating for your health, and spreading awareness, we can work together to reduce the impact of breast cancer and empower individuals to live healthy, fulfilling lives. Remember, early detection is key, and Medicare is here to support you in your healthcare journey. Stay proactive, stay informed, and stay healthy.
If you’d like to learn more about your Medicare coverage and preventative services that may be included in your benefits, please contact us today.