Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness

October 31, 2017

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it seems everything has gone pink. From the football field to retail stores, pink is used to remind women and men the importance of early detection through self-exams and mammograms.

Mammography is a specific type of imaging test that uses a low-dose x-ray systems to examine breasts. Henderson Health Care upgraded to digital mammography in February 2015. Digital mammography creates an electronic image of the breast that can be enhanced, magnified or manipulated for further evaluation. Digital mammography can be done only in facilities that are certified to practice conventional mammography and have received FDA approval to offer digital mammography. In Spring 2017, Henderson Health Care’s digital mammography earned a three-year term of accreditation from the American College of Radiology. The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety.

Based on recent statistics, 1 in 8 women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. Over 40,000 women in the US are expected to die in 2017 from breast cancer, although death rates have been decreasing due to treatment advances, earlier detection through screening and increased awareness.

Current guidelines from the Center for Disease Control recommend women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms if they wish to do so. Women ages 45 and older should get mammograms every year. Women of all ages should also know how their breasts normally look and feel, and report any breast changes to a health care provider right away.

Henderson Health Care currently partners with St. Francis Cancer Treatment Center in Grand Island to bring Oncologists to Henderson twice a month. Dr. Copur and Dr. Ramaekers work with Sue Sullivan, RN OCN, to provide treatment and support to cancer patients in the area.

Henderson Health Care Radiologic Technologist, Corrine Friesen administers over 300 digital mammograms per year, and that number continues to grow due to increased awareness. “More women understand the importance of getting a yearly mammogram, that early detection can make a difference in the treatment received and the survival rate of the patient,” said Corrine.