Throughout the month of October, Minden Medical Center will join hundreds of other businesses, organizations, celebrities and professional athletic teams in celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
MMC is taking a stand against breast cancer, encouraging all women in the communities it serves – mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmothers and friends – to know their risk, to recognize the signs and symptoms and to understand the importance of self-checks and early detection.
In 2016, more than 246,000 American women will develop invasive breast cancer; that’s one in eight women. They will become part of more than 2.8 million people who are living with a history of breast cancer, whether that means they are currently in treatment or have completed treatment. While breast cancer incident rates have been declining since 2000, those numbers remain too high.
Launched in 1985 through a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries, Breast Cancer Awareness Month aims to raise awareness and help fight the disease through early detection.
Getting a high-quality screening mammogram on a regular basis is the most effective way to detect breast cancer early. Mammograms have shown to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer by 35 percent in women over the age of 50. MMC encourages women to talk to their doctors about the recommended frequency for a mammogram, based on personal breast health history and age.
At MMC, having a mammogram is a simple 25-minute procedure. The medical facility offers it as an outpatient service in the Breast Care Center. The Center is equipped with safe and advanced technology and is staffed exclusively by registered women technologists who can show special consideration, because they understand a woman’s feelings and the need for privacy firsthand.
Mammograms are typically a brief exam involving minimal discomfort. During a mammogram, the breast is compressed between an X-ray tray and a plate or cushioned pad on the machine to create a detailed image. Women may experience some brief discomfort during breast compression, which is necessary to control movement and provide ample surface area to view as much of the breast tissue as possible. Compression enables the machine to record a detailed image of the breast tissue and provide an accurate exam.
Free mammograms are available at MMC to women age 40 or older who do not have private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare.
Like most cancers, early detection of breast cancer is key to successful treatment and recovery. Perform monthly exams, and no matter how busy life gets, make time for an annual mammogram. It could save your life.
MMC is asking a very important question: Do you mammo? Use the hashtag #doyoumammo on social media and tag the women in your life to remind them of the importance of annual mammograms.