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Why Haven't You Had a Mammogram?

Despite the fact that mammograms save lives, approximately 18 million women in the U.S. who should have had the test in the past two years haven't, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The reasons why so many women miss their regular breast screenings are complex and cause concern among experts. After all, early detection of breast cancer boosts the chances of survival to 98%. But a shortage of imaging centers, long waits to schedule an appointment, and anxiety about what a mammogram might reveal conspire to keep women from having this lifesaving test. To keep yourself healthy, check out our tips for creative ways to counter every barrier (and excuse).
It's Too Far

Increasing numbers of women nationwide have trouble finding an imaging facility within an easy drive. That's because more than 750 mammography centers have shut down in the past few years, a result of small profit margins, high liability insurance, low reimbursement rates from insurers and a shortage of radiologists.

What you can do

Buddy up, so you can make getting a mammogram a chance to spend time with a friend. Get back-to-back screening appointments, split travel expenses if you have a substantial drive, then go out for lunch afterward. Or consider using a mobile mammography service—traveling vans that offer screenings. Your local health department or hospital should be able to tell you when one is swinging by.