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Featured Medicaid service: mammography

 This is part of a series examining the Medicaid benefits that the radical right wants to cut.

North Carolina's Medicaid program covers recommended screenings for women at risk of developing breast cancer to provide potentially life saving early detection and intervention.

For women ages 20 to 39, Medicaid will pay for one annual exam if the patient has a personal history of cancer or if the recipient's mother, sister, or daughter has been diagnosed with breast cancer. 

From age 35 to 39 a patient without a family history of breast cancer gets one exam in that five year period. If the recipient is 40 or older then Medicaid will pay for one exam per year.

While there is some debate in the medical profession about mammography screenings for younger women, which tend to produce a high rate of false positives, many organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the U.S. National Cancer Institute, do recommend regular screenings for women over 40. Almost all researchers say that women over 50 should have an annual screening.

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