According to data from the National Cancer Institute, in the United States, one in eight women will develop breast cancer at some time during their lifetime. Of those diagnosed, the overall odds of survival is over 97% and reach 99% when diagnosed at an early (localized) stage. Early detection through screening mammography - a low dose X-ray of breast tissue performed when a person has no breast cancer symptoms – helps saves lives.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force provides recommendations and guidelines to help understand the age range and frequency for mammography screening. In addition to these guidelines, it’s important for women to have a discussion with their primary care provider to discuss screening options – especially for those at above-average risk for breast cancer.
In recent years, deaths from breast cancer among older women has decreased due to a combination of increased awareness, improved treatment, and early detection through screening mammography. Screening mammography is the door to early detection, increased treatment options and, ultimately, saving lives.
The American Cancer Society supports regular breast cancer screening since it is the most reliable way to find breast cancer early when there are no symptoms.
Mobile Mammography Unit
If you have difficulty getting to a location for screening mammography, there are mobile mammography units - specially equipped trucks designed to provide screenings just like in an office – which make it easier to get a mammogram in neighborhoods throughout Western New York.
If you are interested in this option, check out the websites listed below for more information and schedules for when and where a mobile mammography unit may be in your neighborhood. Be sure to call the phone number provided to request an appointment and confirm their participation with Independent Health.
To find a location near you, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has created an online search tool that provides a list of facilities conveniently located within your zip code. This database is regularly updated and search results can be downloaded. Once you have found a facility, call the office for available dates, times and locations and to confirm they are participating with Independent Health.
Visit the Breast Cancer Network of Western New York website at www.bcnwny.org for additional resources and information on support groups, educational programs, restorative health classes and more.