Health Matters

Pink Power: Mammograms Can Save Lives

Though it's not a traditional fall color, when October rolls around, many of us think pink. Sports teams wear special uniforms, store shelves are filled with pink packaging, and people wear pink ribbons—all signs of solidarity and support for those affected by breast cancer.
 
Pink ribbons are also a gentle reminder of the importance of screening mammograms, a vital part of early detection of breast cancer, says Dr. Avice O’Connell, a radiologist who specializes in breast imaging.
 
Some women ask: Are mammograms really necessary? There’s been so much talk about who needs one and how often we should get them, casting doubt on their importance for women who lead such busy lives—working, keeping up the household, managing schedules, arranging carpools, and checking in on aging parents. 
Mammography tech with patient
It’s easy to put off these kinds of routine health screenings—but do you really want to roll the dice with breast cancer? Unchecked, it can be deadly—a frightening thought. 
 
A mammogram could save your life. Consider these facts:
  • Breast cancer affects one out of every nine women in the U.S.
  • Mammograms are the most effective way to detect breast cancer in its early stages.
  • A mammogram can find a lump often years before it can be felt in a breast exam.
  • When breast cancer is detected early, you may have more treatment options.
 
Every day, Dr. O’Connell studies images captured during mammograms. When she detects a tiny mass—so small no one felt it—there is no doubting the test's importance. In cases like that, without a mammogram, the woman would not have known she had cancer until the lump was larger and required aggressive care.
 
If you’re age 40 or over, you need a mammogram every year. 
 
If you are younger than 40, and any women in your family have faced breast cancer, talk with your doctor about your risk of the disease and how often you need to be screened.
 
 
Avice O'Connell
 
 
Avice O’Connell, M.D., is director of URMC’s Women’s Imaging Services, which provides mammograms and other breast imaging, such as MRI and ultrasound. You can schedule a mammogram at URMC’s many locations by calling (585) 487-3300.
 
 
 
 
 
Lori Barrette | 9/30/2013 | 0 comments

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About The Blog


 

Welcome to Health Matters, a blog aimed at keeping you and your family healthy. We offer advice from URMC experts on timely topics, as well as insight into breaking news and medical research. Visit us weekly for updates and invite your family and friends to check us out. If you have a topic you’d like to see us cover, please send a note to Lori Barrette.

Though health advice offered here is provided by experts, there is no substitute for the personal care your own provider can offer. If you have medical questions or concerns, please contact your physician.


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