Gamble: Cost shouldn't be a hurdle for the most basic breast-cancer prevention

Published Saturday, May 6, 2017
by Christy M. Gamble

My doctor recently referred me to be screened for breast cancer after a regular exam. And like the overwhelming majority of black women, I have dense breast tissue, which decreases the sensitivity of mammography screening. This makes breast cancer more difficult to detect using traditional, older screening technology.

The breast health center technician asked me if I would be willing to pay any additional out-of-pocket cost - possibly between $50 and $200 - if I opted to use the better technology of a digital breast tomosynthesis. This screening might not be covered by my insurance, the technician advised. Yet, a traditional mammogram would not find cancer in my body - just like it misses early cancers in thousands of black women's breasts.