Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital knows the importance of mammography screening for local residents. To make the screening more accessible, the Weston hospital will now offer mammograms on Wednesday evenings until 7 p.m.
Laura Lightner, SJMH’s registered mammography technologist has been providing this life-saving test since 1992 and hopes that the longer hours will provide women with an opportunity to have their testing done in a timely manner.
“We know that women in this area do not have mammograms done as much in other areas,” she explained. “For example, in Lewis County there is a statistic that only 54% of women have their mammograms, while the number is 59% in West Virginia and as high as 71% in the United States. We want to improve those numbers which means with more screenings we can save lives.”
The reason for regular mammograms is clear. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.
Getting mammograms regularly can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. If one is 50 to 74 years old, it is important to have a screening mammogram every two years. If one is 40 to 49 years old, the patient should talk to the doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram. A health professional should be contacted if there are any symptoms or changes in one’s breast, or if breast cancer runs in the family. The physician may recommend to have mammograms before age 50 or more often than usual. The public should also be aware that 2% of breast cancer cases are in men.
The importance of mammograms cannot be overstated. They are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt. When their breast cancer is found early, many women go on to live long and healthy lives.
In 2018, Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital (SJMH) received a mammography certificate of compliance after a survey through the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA), conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This inspection is performed annually at SJMH.