ELKINS, W.Va. – Davis Medical Center (DMC) is urging women to make an appointment, not an excuse, when it comes to having a mammogram. To make scheduling an appointment easier, they’re reminding people of several features available to women this month and throughout the year.
“Mammograms can help find breast cancer at its earliest stages. Most women will survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early,” said Anne Banfield, M.D., FACOG.
Common excuses for delaying a mammogram include that “they are too costly”, “I can’t take off work”, and “I’m afraid it might hurt”. But according to DMC registered mammography technician Debbie Howell, R.T., the benefit of this preventive screening outweighs the reasons why women avoid them.
“Mammograms are covered as a preventive screening by most insurances so there is really little cost to the patient. And for those who do not have insurance, Davis Medical Center has a program funded by our Foundation that will cover the cost of a screening mammogram for patients who enroll and qualify,” Howell said.
“During our Women’s Health Day event on October 26, women can come in for a free breast examination. Appointments can be made by calling 304-637-3185.”
To accommodate women who are busy or have trouble leaving work for medical appointments, DMC offers weekend and extended hour appointments. After-hour appointments are available year-round.
As for women who are fearful that mammograms are painful, Howell explains that DMC’s new digital 3-D technology is designed with better patient comfort in mind. New features include comfortable head and arm rests, and flexible paddles that tilt and adapt to women’s varying body shapes. “During a mammogram your breast is placed between two plastic plates and pressed to get a clear image of tissue. Some women do find this uncomfortable but it doesn’t last long,” added Howell.
The state-of-the-art 3D Senographe Pristina mammography unit is recognized for performance and accuracy in clarity for diagnosis. It provides an exceptionally sharp and detailed image for breast cancer detection and diagnosis.
“Early detection can mean the difference between life and death. We’re encouraging women to please, make October the month that they talk to their physician about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them.”