Free Mammograms For 107 Women

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

Knoxville (WVLT) – 107 women received free Mammograms on Thursday thanks to Mission Mammography.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center and WIVK held the 3rd annual event for women without insurance to spread awareness.

Many women attended including Linette Sopp, who had her own 12 annual Mammogram.

"The second one I ever had, they discovered that I had breast cancer," she said.

It left her in complete shock.

"I didn't know anything about breast cancer,” Sopp said. “I was totally oblivious, I didn't know the statistics because no one in my family had ever had breast cancer."

By catching it early, she could treat it, the exact goal of events like "Mission Mammography".

"The best tool we have against breast cancer is detect it early,” said Andrew Gitschlag of the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center. “There is no cure per say, however if you can find smaller, if you can find it before you feel it, that's the goal."

The first 107 women in line received a free screening if they were 40, without implants, lumps, cysts or pain and without insurance.

"We all know there's a health care problem in America and Tennessee and there's a lot of people that are not covered by health insurance and medical costs can get quite expensive," Gitschlag said.

"I don't have any insurance and it's my only chance of getting an actual mammogram," said Kelly Hatcher who received her free mammogram mission Mammography. “I'm a little nervous, but I'm first of all thankful that it's free and I’m thankful I got an appointment and I can get back to work."

At last year's event, tests for 13 women came back with suspicious results.

"There's a lot of women out there that don't have health insurance and we really want to give them the opportunity to have that secure feeling that everything is ok with them," Gitschlag said.

And thanks to one mammogram, Linette Sopp can finally stop seeing her Oncologist.

"I made it and I have a different outlook on life,” Sopp said. “I have a 4 year old granddaughter that I wouldn't have missed her for anything."

Mammography can detect breast cancer up to two years before it can be found in a self exam.

Mission Mammography is funded by the Kim Rowden Breast Cancer Memorial Fund, founded by KCBC to assist women without financial resources for breast cancer screenings.

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