According to the CDC, only 65.3% of women over 40 years old have had a mammogram in the last two years. But the fact is, mammography is the best defense women have against breast cancer. Here are some reasons you shouldn’t delay your annual mammogram.
- You don’t want to be a statistic – Invasive breast cancer affects one in eight women.
- It can save your life – Detecting breast cancer early can increase your risk of survival by 25-30%. Survival rates have been increasing steadily since the 1990’s. One of the reasons for this is regular screening improves your chance of catching cancer early when it is most treatable.
- It’s doctor recommended – Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health, recommends that women age 40 and older talk to their primary care physicians about an annual mammogram screening. Mammogram screening guidelines can vary. But at Sarah Cannon HCA Midwest Health we encourage Kansas City women to be proactive and empowered in their healthcare decisions. Our recommendations center around the goal of catching cancer as early as possible, because detecting breast cancer in the early stages means less treatment is needed for a better outcome. (The American College of Radiology, Society of Breast Imaging, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and National Comprehensive Cancer Network all recommend annual mammograms starting at 40 years old for women of average risk).
- It’s safe – Radiation exposure from mammography has always been very low, but new technology advancements have made it safer than ever to get your yearly mammogram. HCA Midwest Health uses the latest technology to help find cancerous tumors in the very earliest stages. 3D mammography™ produces clearer images and reduces the number of unnecessary biopsies.
- It’s more comfortable – HCA Midwest Health uses 3D mammography™ designed especially for dense breasts and patient-friendly compression paddles to ease discomfort during the exam. You may still be a little uncomfortable, but if something starts to hurt, don’t be afraid to let your technician know. They may be able to make adjustments that can help.
- We make it convenient – We offer mammograms at eight locations throughout the Kansas City area – so you never have to travel far. Many of our locations offer Saturday hours and for breast cancer awareness month, extended hours. We also offer convenient online scheduling and some of our locations even offer walk-in screening.
- It’s covered by your health insurance – The federal government has barred Medicare and private insurers from considering any change in screening recommendations when determining the coverage of mammograms. Just be sure to check if you are covered for 2D, 3D or both – so you don’t get an unwanted surprise.