Mammograms Now Available at Off-Base Tricare Network Providers Only

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- At the Mountain Home Air Force Base Medical Group, we seek to provide preventative medical care whenever possible.

Recently the on base mammogram program was suspended. We are seeking to resume the program soon for the patients of the 366th Medical Group. In the meantime we will assist you with obtaining this important preventative medical test off base.

There are a number of Tricare Network providers that will provide mammography services at their off base locations. For more information, please contact your primary care manager's team, Tricare, or review United Healthcare's website.

Further references on the need for mammograms and Tricare's coverage of mammograms can be found below.

What Is a Mammogram and When Should I Get One?
A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast. Doctors use a mammogram to look for early signs of breast cancer.
Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt. When their breast cancer is found early, many women go on to live long and healthy lives.

When should I get a mammogram?
The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women should have mammograms every two years from age 50 to 74 years. Talk to your health professional if you have any symptoms or changes in your breast, or if breast cancer runs in your family. He or she may recommend that you have mammograms before age 50 or more often than usual.

How is a mammogram done?
You will stand in front of a special X-ray machine. A technologist will place your breast on a clear plastic plate. Another plate will firmly press your breast from above. The plates will flatten the breast, holding it still while the X-ray is being taken. You will feel some pressure. The other breast will be X-rayed in the same way. The steps are then repeated to make a side view of each breast. You will then wait while the technologist checks the four X-rays to make sure the pictures do not need to be re-done. Keep in mind that the technologist cannot tell you the results of your mammogram.

What does having a mammogram feel like?
Having a mammogram is uncomfortable for most women. Some women find it painful. A mammogram takes only a few moments, though, and the discomfort is over soon. What you feel depends on the skill of the technologist, the size of your breasts, and how much they need to be pressed. Your breasts may be more sensitive if you are about to get or have your period. A doctor with special training, called a radiologist, will read the mammogram. He or she will look at the X-ray for early signs of breast cancer or other problems.

TRICARE covers:
· Annual physical examinations for women beginning at age 40 and at a physician's discretion for women younger than 40 who are at high risk of developing breast cancer
· Annual mammograms for women beginning at age 40, or at age 30 (or prior to September 7, 2010, the age 35) for those at high risk of developing breast cancer.

High-risk indicators include:
· Lifetime risk of breast cancer of 15 percent or greater using standard risk assessment models such as Gail model, Claus model or Tyrer-Cuzick.
· History of breast cancer.
· Known BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation.
· A parent, child or sibling with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation and the beneficiary has not had genetic testing for this mutation.
· Radiation therapy to the chest between ages of 10 and 30.