Mammogram Awareness

Breast cancer awareness may be during the month of October, but physicians at the Archbold Women's Center want to keep it on the minds of women 365 days a year. New technology can help detect the disease early and help save you or your loved one’s life.

Julia Singletary is a strong believer that everyone knows someone who has been affected by some type of cancer. For that reason she says getting a yearly mammogram is her responsibility.

However, staff at the Archbold Women's Center have noticed a disturbing trend; fewer women have been coming in for mammographies.

Christy Sheffield with Archbold Public Relations says, "We've noticed a six percent drop in cases in the last eight months and it's enough to concern us about the health of women in our area."

Radiologists say fear of discomfort may be a reason why women are not getting their mammograms, but they say new technology has helped make the experience much less painful.

Mary Ann Bullard, a radiologist at Archbold Women's Center, says, "We have a new pad that a lot of facilities have now. We don't ever want you not to come to have a mammogram because you're scared it's going to hurt. The primary goal to keep in mind is your trying to prevent breast cancer and save your life. The benefits far outweigh a moment of just being uncomfortable."

Julia adds, "It's irresponsible not to take advantage of that technology. Breast cancer is very curable if it's caught early and the only way to catch it early is through mammography and self breast exams."

A preventative step Singletary takes not only for herself, but for her family.

Women are recommended at age 40 to begin getting a yearly mammogram. This of course along with your monthly self breast exam.

Physicians say the financial strain of mammograms may also keep women away, but there are resources available to help with the cost.

For more information, call Archbold's Women's Health Center at 229-228-3710. Extended Web Coverage

Breast Self-Examination

When to Examine Your Breasts

  • Examine once a month, when your breasts are not tender or swollen.
  • After menopause, check your breasts on the first day of each month. After a hysterectomy, consult with your doctor or clinic for an appropriate time of the month

What to do if you find a lump or thickening?
  • If a lump, dimple or discharge is discovered during a self-exam, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible.

American Cancer Society Recommendations
  • A monthly self-examination breast exam is not a substitute for an examination by a medical professional. How often should I see the doctor for a mammogram?
  • Ages 35-39, one baseline mammogram.
  • Ages 40-49, one every 1-2 years.
  • Over age 50, one every year.

Source: American Cancer Society