“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 that decreases the sensitivity of mammography screening, making 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, because this screening might not be covered by my insurance. A traditional mammogram would not find cancer in my body – just like it misses early cancers in thousands of black women’s breasts.
It wasn’t long ago in my life that the sticker shock of the technician’s cost estimate would have forced me to make a different choice – to forgo the screening that could potentially save my life. This is a choice low-income women are forced to make every day — and it’s costing them their lives.”