BATON ROUGE – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana joins other healthcare organizations in reminding Louisianians how important it is to know your personal health risks and ask your doctor about screening.
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, but men can also develop breast cancer,” said Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Medical Director Dr. Emily Vincent. “The important thing is to catch it early, when treatment has the best chance of success.”
Vincent advises starting with breast self-awareness. “You know your body, and if you see or feel anything unusual, ask your doctor about it. And, talk to your doctor about your health and family history, to get a personalized recommendation on when you should have mammograms,” Vincent said.
Fortunately, breast cancer screening is very effective at catching the disease in its earliest stages. Most women begin having mammograms around age 40, and men may need this screening. Doctors recommend mammograms for their patients will based on their individual health history and risk factors. Talk with your primary care provider or OB-GYN about what is the best screening process for you.
Most health plans and Medicare plans cover breast cancer screening at low or $0 out-of-pocket costs.
Many health plans also have shopping tools that let you see what mammograms cost at different providers near you. Blue Cross members can use Smart Shopper, at bcbsla.com/SmartShopper, to see what they can expect to pay for mammograms or other screenings at different facilities in their networks.
Blue Cross members who have been diagnosed with breast cancer (or any form of cancer) can get support and health coaching from the insurer’s Care Management team. Members do not need to pay anything to work with a Blue Cross health coach. Visit www.bcbsla.com/Stronger for more information on how to connect with a health coach or sign up for programs and services.
During October, Blue Cross is sponsoring a promotion with Blue Bikes to raise awareness of breast cancer, with 100 bikes decked in pink. Riders are encouraged to find the pink bikes and share photos on social media to say why they #RidePink.
Dr. Vincent explains the importance of breast cancer screening in the first video below. And learn more about the support and health coaching from the insurer's Care Management team in the second video below.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. We invest both time and money in the communities we serve, supporting the health and wellbeing of Louisianians through more than 200 charitable organizations.
With our subsidiaries, HMO Louisiana and Southern National Life, we provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to one out of four Louisiana residents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana also provides Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage plans and is a partner in offering the Healthy Blue Medicaid Managed care plan. Louisiana is the only state where we operate, with offices in every major region to serve our customers.
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying non-profit health insurer. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
To learn more, visit our website at bcbsla.com.