About 13 percent of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, which works out to about one in eight women. According to breastcancer.org, there will be more than 280,000 diagnosed cases of breast cancer in 2021. Of those diagnosed with breast cancer, an estimated 43,600 will die from the disease.
Cancer, including breast, lung, brain, and other types, is the number 2 cause of death in the United States behind heart disease. It can strike at any time and affects men and women of all ages. Some causes of cancer are lifestyle (smoking, alcohol, overexposure to the sun for example) or exposure to other carcinogens.
Common gasses or chemicals that cause cancer are asbestos, benzene, radon, and others. These can be found in the workplace or even naturally occurring at home depending on its construction or location. Fortunately, we know about many causes and can take steps to mitigate the interaction.
Some cancers naturally occur in the body, through faulty genes passed down from parents or earlier generations. Cancer can occur anywhere in the body and early detection is the key to preventing the spread of those cells throughout the body.
What makes breast cancer so deadly is the proximity to the lymphatic system. Acting like a superhighway, diseased cells that reach the lymph nodes spread quickly throughout the body. This process is known as metastasis. An example of this is that while cancer in the lungs may have been the cause of death, it may be known as breast cancer because that’s where it started.
Breast Cancer and Medicare
Breast cancer detection usually starts when a lump or hard mass can be felt on or near the breast tissue. The first course of action is to schedule a breast cancer screening with your doctor or health care professional. Baseline mammogram screenings are covered as part of your Original Medicare coverage.
For the most part, Medicare insurance plans are limited to those over 65, disabled patients of any age, or those suffering from End-Stage Renal Failure. However, screening mammography is covered by Medicare health insurance for women over 35 years of age. This includes both 2D and 3D mammography.
That means there are no out-of-pocket costs once you are a certain age. Medicare will pay for a baseline 3D mammogram for females between the age of 35 and 39 and a screening mammogram for women over 40 once a year (per calendar year). After reaching 40, a screening mammogram must occur 11 months (or more) after the previous screening mammogram.
While the screening and baseline 3D mammograms are covered in total by Medicare Part B, it doesn’t cover diagnostic mammograms completely. A diagnostic screening uses an x-ray image of the breast to investigate any abnormalities found during the other screenings. Patients will need to pay 20% of the fee.
VibrantUSA is Here For You
At VibrantUSA, it’s our mission to find the best Medicare plans at the lowest prices for our clients. As an independent agency, we’re able to provide this service at no cost, meaning we can find the best plans for our clients.
If you have any questions about mammogram coverage, Original Medicare, what Medicare Advantage Plans cover, or when enrollment periods are, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Since 2003, it’s been our business helping people just like you make sense of Medicare insurance.