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  • MultiCare's 'Women Get It' program helps fund breast cancer tests

    by Shelly Donaldson, RN

    When a woman feels a lump in her breast, the fear of breast cancer is often made worse by the fear of not having insurance or enough money to cover the cost of a mammogram, an ultrasound or a biopsy.

    If you’re a woman in this situation, we can help.

    Since 2003, the MultiCare Health Foundation has sponsored a program called “Women Get It” that helps pay for breast cancer testing procedures for those who can’t afford them. 

    If you are a MultiCare patient with no insurance or a large deductible, the “Women Get It” program can help. Call 253-459-8261 to learn about enrolling in MultiCare’s “Women Get It” program.

    As a nurse navigator for Breast Health Services at MultiCare, I've helped many patients and their families along the often difficult pathway of a diagnosis. Early detection helps save lives. Don’t wait: do a monthly self breast exam, get a yearly breast exam by your health care provider and get your mammogram every year.

    Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, learn what you should be doing for breast health, whatever your age:

    Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.

    Recent research suggests that BSE plays a small role in women finding their own breast lumps. The American Cancer Society recommends “know what is normal” for you. This means not only being aware of the lumps and bumps that are normal for you but looking for any skin changes (redness, rash, dimpling or inverted nipples). Knowing what is normal helps you know when something is abnormal. Be sure that you report any changes to your health care provider right away.

    Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) every three years by their health care professional.

    A clinical breast exam, done by a health care professional, gives women a chance to speak to their providers about any problems or changes that they have noticed. It is also a good time to ask about breast self-exam techniques and to discuss risk factors that may increase your chance of getting breast cancer.

    Women who are age 40 and older should have a mammogram yearly and continue to do so as long as they are in good health.

    Current research has confirmed that mammograms offer substantial benefit for women in their 40s and beyond. Mammograms should continue as long as a woman is in good health and age alone should not be a reason to stop having mammograms. Mammograms have limitations but it is still the best screening tool that we have to find breast cancers early, when they are treatable. Mammograms alone are not enough. Women need to use all the tools (breast self exam, clinical breast exam, mammograms) in their arsenal and especially their biggest and best tool, personal self-awareness to help maintain good health.

    Schedule your mammogram

    Call 253-792-6220 or toll-free 1-866-268-7223 to schedule your mammogram.



    MultiCare Auburn Health Center
    Phone: 253-876-8190 
    Fax: 253-876-8186
    Monday - Friday 7:30 am - 5 pm
    Digital Screening Mammography - Breast Ultrasound - Bone density services 


    MultiCare Covington Clinic
    Phone: 253-372-7240 
    Fax: 253-372-7246

    Monday 8am - 8:30pm
    Tuesday 7am - 8:30pm 
    Wednesday - Friday 7am - 3:45pm 
    Saturday 9:30am - 12:30pm

    Suite: 130
    Breast Health Education - Breast Health Imaging - Breast Health Nurse Navigator - Ultrasound Breast Biopsy - Digital Mammography - Screening and Diagnostic Mammography - Stereotactic Breast Biopsy - Bone density services

    Bonney Lake:

    Diagnostic Imaging Northwest- Bonney Lake Center
    Phone: 253-841-4353
    Fax: 253-446-3973
    Services: Digital Mammography, Bone Density (DEXA), Breast Ultrasound

    Gig Harbor:

    MultiCare Gig Harbor Medical Park
    Phone: 253-792-6220 
    Fax: 253-792-6230
    Toll Free: 866-268-7223
    Monday - Friday 8am - 4pm, Third Saturday / Month 8am - noon
    Suite: 130 
    Digital screening mammograms - Bone density services 


    Diagnostic Imaging Northwest- Puyallup Center
    Phone: 253-841-4353
    Fax: 253-446-3973
    Services: Digital Mammography, Bone Density (DEXA), Breast Ultrasound, Breast MRI

    Diagnostic Imaging Northwest- Sunrise Center
    Phone: 253-841-4353
    Fax: 253-446-3973
    Services: Digital Mammography, Breast Ultrasound


    Carol Milgard Breast Center
    Phone: 253-759-2622 or 866-758-2622
    4525 South 19th St., Tacoma

    Digital mammography - Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy - Breast ultrasound - MR-guided breast biopsy - Breast MRI - Bone density services - Stereotactic breast biopsy

    Shelly Donaldson, RN, is a Nurse Navigator for Breast Health Services at MultiCare’s Covington Clinic with more than 10 years of oncology nurse experience. Donaldson provides comfort and support in guiding patients and their families along the often difficult pathway of a cancer diagnosis. She is available for education, training and speaking engagements in South King County and Pierce County. Contact her at

    Posted on Oct 16, 2013 in Covington, Women's Health