New York City public hospitals and health centers offer mammograms at little or no cost.
Low Cost or Free Mammograms for Women Over 40"Obamacare," formally known as the Affordable Care Act, ensures "all Americans joining a new health care plan can receive recommended preventive services, like mammograms, new baby care and well-child visits, with no out-of-pocket costs. (Preventive services benefits apply if you’re in a new health plan that you joined after March 23, 2010.)"
If you are still in an old health plan that hasn't yet gotten up to speed with the Affordable Care Act, or have no health insurance, get in touch with NY City's breast cancer awareness program or one of the health centers below.
Why Bother Having a Mammogram?
Mammograms can help find breast cancer early. You may have a better chance of surviving breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.
Who Should Have a Screening Mammogram?In general, mammograms are recommended* for:
Women ages 40 to 49: Talk with your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often you need them.
Women ages 50 to 74: Get mammograms every 2 years. Talk with your doctor to decide if you need them more often.
What Happens When You Get a Mammogram?If you have never done one before, it's nothing to be afraid of. It's safe, and the whole process itself takes only about twenty minutes, though the wait beforehand might be longer.
You'll be asked to change into a gown, and brought into a private room with an X-ray machine that's specifically designed for mammograms. The nurse will help you get into the proper position after putting a heavy, apron-like protective garment on you. Mammograms use a very low level of x‑rays, and that's just for extra precautions.
Right before the nurse takes the X-ray, she will position your breast, one at a time, between 2 plastic plates so the machine can take pictures of insides of each breast.
It's not the most comfortable squeeze in the world, but it doesn't really hurt — and you have to hold that position for just a few seconds. It's all over before you can count to ten.
Where to Get a Free or Low Cost Mammogram in BrooklynCall in advance to make an appointment for a mammogram at the following Brooklyn public hospitals.
Kings County Hospital Center
451 Clarkson Avenue at East 39th St/, E Building - 6th floor
East New York Diagnostic & Treatment Center
2094 Pitkin Avenue
Coney Island Hospital
2601 Ocean Parkway, First Floor Lobby
Woodhull Medical & Mental Health Center
760 Broadway, 3rd Floor Conference Room #2
Cumberland Diagnostic & Treatment Center
100 North Portland Avenue, 4th Floor Auditorium
* See mammography guidelines from American Cancer Society.