A Little Discomfort is Worth a Life Saved: Greene County Medical Center urges all qualified individuals to schedule a mammogram today

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A 20-Minute Mammogram Just Might Save Your Life

JEFFERSON, Iowa – Do you have eight women in your family? Or eight women with whom you share a close connection or bond? According to the American Cancer Society, one of those women you know and love will develop breast cancer at some time in their lives. Take a moment to think about that. One in eight. It could be your mother, grandmother, wife, sister, aunt, niece, daughter or granddaughter.

Greene County Medical Center Imaging Director, Heather Booth, said this fact should resonate year-round, but especially in October during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “It’s easy as women to put ourselves on the back burner as we take care of everyone else before ourselves,” she explained. “But having an annual mammogram takes less than 30 minutes, and that is 30 minutes that can save a life. A breast cancer diagnosis is no longer necessarily a death sentence, but the key is early detection. The earlier we find breast cancer, the better odds our patients have of beating it.”

Enhanced mammography technology is also largely responsible for early detection. Booth says earlier mammograms produced flat images. There is a world of difference in today’s 3D mammography. The distinction between 2D and 3D is that we can see detail so much easier, according to Booth. “Think of this as if we are looking at a book. With 2D you are looking at the book when it is shut, from cover to cover with every page stacked on top of one another. What 3D lets us do, is now we can take that book and open it, and look at each page, each layer of breast tissue; so we are getting a ton more information.” 

In the U.S. the breast cancer survival rate is now at 90%, but early detection means cases are being seen in younger women. Because of this, recommendations made by the United States Preventive Services Task Force say routine mammograms for those at low risk should start at age 40 and at 30 for those considered high risk.

You can learn more or schedule your 3D mammogram at Greene County Medical Center by talking with your primary care provider or calling the Imaging Department at 515-386-0443. All patients receiving a mammogram in the month of October will receive a $5 gift card to the Auxiliary’s Gift Garden.