October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but any time is good to educate Veterans on health issues that can impact them.
Something as simple as getting a mammogram could save your life.
The National Cancer Institute estimates 268,600 new reports of breast cancer in 2019. As a result, VA encourages women Veterans to take advantage of the many valuable resources for breast cancer education and early detection. They also can share this information with other women Veterans.
VA mammogram guidelines are available online and at every VA medical facility. VA has adopted the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer screening guidelines.
Mammograms are available from VA at over 60 medical centers. They also are available in the community at sites that do not have in-house mammography.
Annual mammograms at age 45
VA recommends women get yearly mammograms by age 45 and every other year beginning at age 55. It also suggests women get yearly mammograms as early as age 40.
Talk to your VA health provider about early testing if there is concern for risk factors. Risks include certain genetic mutations or a family history of breast cancer.
Each VA Medical Center has a Women Veterans Program Manager (WVPM) to advise and advocate for women Veterans. They also can help coordinate the services you may need, from primary care to specialized care for chronic conditions or reproductive health.
Veteran patients can sign in to My HealtheVet and send a secure message to your health care team regarding the Women’s Health Program.
Woman Veterans who are interested in receiving care through VA should contact the nearest VA Medical Center and ask for the WVPM. Also, the Women Veterans Call Center can make direct referrals to local WVPMs. Call or text VA at 1-855-829-6636 to start.
Story via VA’s Women’s Health Services Office.