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Q: I've heard any woman can get a mammogram at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Is that true? Do I need a referral from my doctor?

Anyone can get a mammogram. It's actually federal law! The Mammography Quality Standards Act says that any woman who wants to be screened for breast cancer can self-refer. That means you don't need a referral for a screening mammogram, you can just pick up the phone and call our imaging department at 808.243.3012 to make an appointment. Let the receptionist know you're self-referring, and they'll ask you who your doctor is so we know where to send the results. Kaiser patients will be routed to the Kaiser clinic, and Maui Memorial accepts all other forms of insurance.

And if you don't have insurance, we can still help. The Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation will pay for your screening mammogram at the Malama I Ke Ola Health Center (formerly known as the Community Clinic of Maui). You can call the clinic at 808.871.7772 to make an appointment.

When it comes to breast cancer, it's clear that screening saves lives. Thanks to early detection, 63 percent of breast cancers today are diagnosed while they are still small and localized. These cancers have a five-year survival rate of 97%. When you catch and treat it early, you have a higher likelihood of going into remission and curing it.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American women, and it's the second leading cause of cancer mortality behind lung cancer. So don't let insurance or scheduling be an excuse for not getting a mammogram!