ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and throughout the month, a local organization is providing free mammogram screening events in Rochester. 

The Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region is hosting events in the coming weeks for uninsured women over the age of 40.

“Breast cancer is one of the second-leading cancers in our community. We are trying to get as many people as possible to these events, especially those who are uninsured so that we can work with them to become insured and get diagnostics and things as needed,” said Sparkle Wells, Health Project Coordinator for the Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes.

Every year, roughly 16,000 women in New York are diagnosed with breast cancer. But taking part in screenings, like mammograms, can play a critical role in catching it early.

“You should start screening for mammograms around the age of 40,” Wells said. “When you’re screening, you have the opportunity to make sure that you don’t have any issues, but a lot of times people wait until they have issues and then there are concerns with cancers or other things, so we try and be as proactive and preventative as possible.”

Wells said it’s also important people are checking themselves at home and know what signs or symptoms to look out for.

“After showers, just doing a quick check of your breasts to make sure there aren’t any lumps, any concerns there. When you are meeting with your primary care physician, they might do a check as well. Sometimes your gynecologist might check as well. If there are any concerns, any symptoms, anything that seems odd, you should definitely be looking to get screened,” Wells said.

She adds if there is a family history of breast cancer, you should be screened 10 years prior to the date that person was diagnosed.

“So if they got diagnosed at 45, you should be looking to get screened around the age of 35, but that’s a family member that’s in close proximity such as a mom and sister,” Wells said.

Doctors recommend women ages 50 to 74 years old should get a mammogram every two years. Women between the ages of 40 and 49 years old should talk to their healthcare provider about how often they should have a screening.

The local mammogram screenings will be held on the following dates and times:

Date & TimeLocation
10/1/2022 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.Highland Hospital Breast Imaging 500 Red Creek, Suite 130
10/15/2022 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.Elizabeth Wende Breast Care 170 Sawgrass Dr.
10/22/2022 9 a.m. to NoonNewark-Wayne Community Hospital Imaging Center 1200 Driving Park Ave., Newark
11/5/2022 8 a.m. to NoonBorg & Ide Imaging 2655 Ridgeway Ave., Suite 110
12/10/2022 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.Elizabeth Wende Breast Care 170 Sawgrass Dr.

You can call the Cancer Services Program at (585) 224-3070.

Supported with funds from the state of New York, the Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region is managed and facilitated by UR Medicine’s Center for Community Health & Prevention.