During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the Breast Care Services team at MountainView Hospital and Red Rock Radiology, a department of MountainView, encourages women to know their risk factors and talk to their doctors about getting a mammogram.
With approximately one in eight women diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, it is likely that we all know someone affected by this disease. During Breast Cancer Awareness month, we take this time to educate women about breast cancer and the importance of routine breast health checkups. The best way to reduce the risk is through a combination of regular mammograms, routine breast exams by a healthcare professional and monthly self-breast exams.
Don’t delay a mammogram
Many people have been putting off routine appointments due to their concerns about the coronavirus. Rest assured, the hospital is working hard to keep you and our employees safe.
At Red Rock Radiology, where we conduct our outpatient screening mammograms, we screen every visitor for symptoms prior to their appointment. We routinely clean high-touch surface areas throughout the facility and require all employees, patients and visitors to wear a mask. Like other businesses, we ask that if you are experiencing covid or covid-like symptoms, please reschedule your appointment.
Why is it important to still get a mammogram during these uncertain times? In the U.S., breast cancer is still the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. The good news is that survival rates are better than ever, particularly when breast cancer is detected in its early stages. Delaying a screening could mean delaying needed care.
Know your risk factors of breast cancer
Certain factors may increase your risk of getting breast cancer. However, not all women who are at high risk will get breast cancer, and some women with a low risk may still develop it. It’s important to know your risk factors because they will help guide your doctor’s recommendations for mammograms and lifestyle changes.
Age is one risk factor of cancer. Most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are 50 years of age or older. Other risk factor include:
- Inherited genetic mutations
- Having dense breast tissue
- Having a personal history of cancer
- Having a family history of breast cancer
- Previously undergoing radiation therapy to the chest
- Starting menstruation before age 12
- Starting menopause after age 55
These risk factors cannot be changed. The good news is that other risk factors can indeed by modified, such as the following:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Overweight or obese after menopause
- Alcohol consumption
- Long-term use of hormone replacement therapy
Talk to your doctor about mammograms
Mammogram guidelines can differ, depending on the health organization issuing them. They are also subject to change over time. Every woman needs personalized recommendations from her own doctor, which takes into account her unique health history, lifestyle and preferences.
In addition to having routine mammograms, you can protect your health by doing a breast self-exam each month. This help you become better aware of how your breasts normally look and feel. You’ll be able to detect unusual changes more easily.
If you are in need of an annual screening mammogram, but do not have health insurance, during the month of October 2020, MountainView Hospital and Red Rock Radiology are offering $75, 3D digital screening mammograms.
This special program is available October 1, 2020 through October 31, 2020. Program participants must be at least 40 years old. No doctor’s order required for screening mammograms. If you have insurance, check with your provider. You may find out that your mammogram is fully covered.
To schedule your mammogram, please call Red Rock Radiology at (702) 962-7775.