SITKA – In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital is offering free screening mammograms to women who make an appointment during the month of October.

All women are at risk for breast cancer – it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death (after lung cancer) among Alaskan women. Regular screening can often find breast cancer early when treatments are most likely to be successful and increase the chances of long-term survival.

“Cost should not prevent a woman from getting cancer screening,” said Martha Pearson, SEARHC Health Promotion Director, “here is a chance for everyone to encourage a woman they love to take care of her health.” She added, “It is important to note that the screening does not need to take place in October, but women must call in October to schedule it.”

All Sitka residents, regardless of where they receive primary medical care, are eligible to receive this free breast cancer screening if they meet medical guidelines for mammography. SEARHC is encouraging women to take advantage of this opportunity.

For more information, to see if a screening mammogram is right for you, or to schedule a free screening mammogram, Sitkans can call the WISEWOMAN Women’s Health office at 966-8819.