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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that doctors use to find early signs of breast cancer. Mammograms can find breast cancer early – up to three years before a lump can be felt.

If you haven’t had your mammogram this year, schedule it today by calling your primary care doctor, OB/GYN or an in-network Mammogram Imaging Center. 

Most Florida Blue plans cover annual screening mammograms for women age 40 and older for as low as a $0 copay. Log in at Find a Doctor and More or call 800-352-2583 to learn more about your benefits.

Know important facts about breast cancer

One out of every 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is a disease in which body cells grow in places they shouldn’t. These cells can be found in different areas of the breast, identified as the lobules, or glands that produce milk, ducts that carry the milk, and the surrounding connective fibrous and fatty tissue, which holds everything together.

Most breast cancers begin in the areas of ducts or lobules, which are identified as the two most common kinds of breast cancer. They are called invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma.

When cancer cells begin in the ducts then grow outside of the ducts into other parts of the breast tissue, it is called invasive ductal carcinoma.

Invasive lobular carcinoma is when cancer begins in the lobules and then spreads to surrounding breast tissues.2

What screenings are available for breast cancer?

Breast cancer screenings check for breast changes and cancer before there are signs or symptoms. A mammogram is an x-ray and is the best way to find breast cancer. It can find breast changes early, before symptoms develop or can be felt, when treatment is most effective. Routine mammograms take about 20 minutes3 and can help lower the risk of dying from breast cancer.4

What are the warning signs of breast cancer?

You may encounter various signs or symptoms, or nothing at all. Talk to your doctor or OB/GYN if you have questions or experience any of the following.5

  • New lump in the breast or armpit area.
  • Thickening or swelling of any part of the breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling over the breast skin.
  • Redness or flaking skin around the nipple area or over the breast area.
  • Pulling in of the nipple or feeling pain in the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge that is not breast milk, or blood.
  • Any change in the size or shape of the breast.
  • Pain in any breast area.

What are some risk factors related to breast cancer?

Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years of age or older. Risks for developing breast cancer can consist of one or a combination of factors. Some women may have no related risks or may be younger than age 50. It is important to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about risk in developing breast cancer.6

High risk factors for breast cancer may include:

  • Personal history of breast cancer.
  • Inherited changes to certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2.
  • Family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer.

Other risk factors that cannot be changed or self-managed:

  • Getting older or being over the age of 50.
  • Early menstrual periods (prior to age 12).
  • Starting menopause after age 55.
  • Having dense breasts.
  • Previous radiation therapy to the chest or breast.
  • Use of the DES drug (diethylstibestrol) to prevent miscarriage. Women who took DES or whose mothers took it between 1940 and 1971. 

Is breast cancer risk the same for all women in the U.S.?

  • In the U.S., while white women have the highest rates of breast cancer, black women are more likely to die from breast cancer7 Black women also have a higher rate of developing the more aggressive triple-negative breast cancer than White or Hispanic women do.8
  • And while Hispanic women have lower rates of breast cancer compared to white and Black women, breast cancer is still the most common cancer among Hispanic women and the leading cause of cancer deaths among Hispanic women.9
  • People without health coverage and those with low incomes who must travel long distances for health care and regular screenings are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer when it’s in a later stage and can be harder to treat successfully.10

While every woman should be screened, it’s especially important to get regular mammograms if you fall into one of these categories.

Some ways that may help lower your risk for developing breast cancer11

  • Exercise regulary.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit or don’t consume alcoholic beverages.
  • Talk to your doctor about what hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptive is right for you.
  • Breastfeed your baby if possible.

Be proactive when it comes to your health. Schedule your mammogram today!

Can someone get a mammogram if they don’t have insurance?

Yes! If you know someone without coverage, feel free to share these details:

Florida Blue Centers: Whether you have a Florida Blue health plan or not, you can get answers to health questions from one of our Florida Blue Center nurses. Our team can connect you to resources in your community if you need healthy food, help managing a health condition, finding health care and more. Our centers also offer webinars and classes on a variety of health topics to the public at no cost. Visit your local center or call 877-352-5830 to speak to a care nurse. Learn more at

Other Resources for Low- or No-Cost Mammograms: Click or call the resources below, which are not affiliated with Florida Blue:


Program Organization
National Resource : Health Care Services and Screenings American Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF)
National Resource : Health Care Services and Screenings National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP)
National Resource : Assistance United Cancer Support Foundation
National Resource : Information and Referral Services Susan G. Komen for the Cure















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