Free breasts exams available to women at health center

February 06, 2008 at 10:44 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

St. Charles Parish residents can take advantage of a program offering free breast examinations to women in the community.

Families with women who have had a history of breast cancer will be eligible to participate, as well as women in their 40’s and over who need a mammogram screening.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation awarded St. Charles Parish a $79,000 grant to fund the project.

“The program is called “Project Touch” and it’s sponsored by the St. Charles Community Health Center,” Julia Bodden, project manager said.

“We assist women by ensuring they get free breast exams and they are aware of the importance of regular annual mammograms.”

Bodden says women must attend a free class first and watch a demonstration of how to do a self breast examination. Upon completion of the class, women are given a voucher to go have their mammograms done.

“If a woman’s test comes back and the results reveal she’s got breast cancer, we immediately contact the Medicaid Office and based on their income if they’re eligible Medicaid will pay for they’re entire treatment, surgery, and recovery,” she said.

Bodden says a doctor in New Orleans is offering additional mammography services.

“St. Thomas Clinic offers free mammograms to everyone two days out of the week,” she said.

“I didn’t realize how many women weren’t aware of the importance of breast examinations and how many misconceptions were being spread about the mammogram screening.”

Bodden says she has since started speaking at churches, encouraging women to take the test and to eliminate some of the myths and fears that existed.

“I want women to know the mammogram is not painful,” she said.

“Some women who have a larger bust line may experience some discomfort, but the exam is over quickly.”

Bodden says other services offered through “Project Touch” include education on breast health awareness, including personalized training on performing monthly self breast exams, educational materials like videos on breast health are available, breast models are available to allow the women to practice the skill of detecting a lump, clinical breast exams with a health care provider at no charge, screening mammograms and diagnostic services following an abnormal breast screening are also available.

Project Touch is funded by the Susan G. Komen, foundation. For more information contact Julia Bodden at 985-785-5800.

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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