I have a breast lump and am concerned I might have cancer. I don’t have any insurance. Do women without insurance get very bad or no care, or is there somewhere I can go?
First, don’t jump to any conclusions. You may not have cancer, since most breast lumps are not malignant. But you should definitely be checked out by a breast specialist.
I wish I could tell you that socio-economic status doesn’t matter and all Americans have equal access to high-quality health care. Even if you had insurance, you might not get the best medical care because all health plans are not the same.
What I can tell you is that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you are persistent and willing to put out a great deal of time and effort, you will get the care you need.
First, find out if you are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid. Call your county public health department, explain your situation and ask for advice. If that doesn’t work, call all the non-profit health and cancer organizations you can find, national groups or small, local support-type groups.
Try the medical schools and teaching hospitals in your area, as well as medical professional associations. Take notes, and be polite but persistent. If someone says they can’t help you, ask if they know someone else who can.
Meanwhile, start reading up on breast lumps, including cancer. So when you do get treatment, you’ll understand your options and be able to make informed choices. The library offers a wealth of information, as does the Internet.