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Get the Facts: The importance of mammography in the community

According to the American Cancer Society, African Americans have the highest death rate of any racial and ethnic group in the United States for most cancers. In 2011, in fact, the American Cancer Society estimated that among African- American women there were 28,840 new cases of breast cancer, which resulted in more than 6,000 deaths. When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is key.

As a community we need to ensure women have access to mammography screenings and breast exams. One of the first steps is to educate our community on the importance of mammography screening and dispel any myths associated with a mammography exam. Being informed will allow women in our community to take control of their health and wellness.

A mammogram usually takes 15 minutes; four to six images are taken, similar to taking an x-ray. There is no pain associated with a mammogram, just light pressure on the breast as the image is taken, and each image takes 15-20 seconds to complete. When it comes to screening for breast cancer, not all mammograms are the same. That’s why Columbia St. Mary’s uses digital mammography. Digital technology provides physicians with incredibly detailed images, allowing them to more accurately assess each mammogram and get your results to you quicker.

To bring this life-saving technology closer to home, Columbia St. Mary’s utilizes its one-of-a-kind Mobile Digital Mammography Center . Everything from registration, private changing areas and the most advanced mammogram technology is housed in this state-of the-art coach. This mobile center serves Columbia St. Mary’s clinics and community partners throughout southeastern Wisconsin , which makes getting a mammogram more convenient than ever.

According to the American Cancer Society, women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health. Women in their 20’s and 30’s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a regular health exam by a health professional, at least every 3 years. After age 40, women should have a breast exam by a health professional every year.

To schedule your mammogram, call (414) 326-1800. If cost is a concern, there may be resources available to assist you. For more information, please call us at (414) 333-2206.