Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in women. This month, Augusta University Health’s Breast Health Center wants to make sure women have time to get a mammogram to catch small tumors before they become a big problem.
“We started performing Saturday mammograms in October to offer busy women an easier option during Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said Kellie Bedenbaugh, lead technologist at Augusta University Breast Health Center. “Generally, women are so busy taking care of everyone else in the family, they neglect themselves. October Saturdays gives ladies an opportunity to have a ‘ME’ day.”
A mammogram is so important because statistics show that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 97 percent.
“To help us achieve the earliest detection rate possible, we offer all of our patients 3-D mammograms,” Bedenbaugh said. “3-D mammograms are more comfortable than standard mammograms, reduce call backs or false alarms by 40 percent, and help detect breast cancers more accurately and earlier increasing survival rates and increasing treatment options.”
Beginning Oct. 6 and each Saturday in the month of October, women can schedule a routine mammogram at the Breast Health Center between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The American Cancer Society recommends an annual mammogram paired with a clinical breast exam for women age 40 and older. Augusta University Health started offering 3-D mammograms in 2011. The technology improves images by digitally combining multiple X-rays to reduce distortion created by tissue overlap or very dense breasts.
A woman does not need an order from her doctor in order to get a screening mammogram. Most insurance companies cover 100 percent of the cost. The Breast Health Center is located on the first floor of Augusta University Medical Center. To schedule a screening mammogram, call (706) 721-XRAY (9729).