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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: VMH Radiology Department offers late afternoon appointments for mammogram patients

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  The Radiology Department at Veterans Memorial Hospital holds extended hours into the evening to allow for more mammogram appointments to be scheduled after work, making the option of mammography more accessible.

Mammography (an x-ray picture of the breast) is the single most effective method to detect breast changes that may be cancer, long before physical symptoms can be seen or felt. Early detection, followed by up-to-date treatment, provides women with better chances for long-term freedom from the disease.

But mammography screening must be done routinely.

As women age, their risk of breast cancer increases. For most women, high-quality mammography screening should begin at the age of 40. As risk factors vary in everyone, the exact frequency of screening should be determined by each woman and her doctor. In addition to mammography, health care providers should also examine a woman’s breasts (clinical breast examination) as part of regular routine health care to search for any abnormalities that may be missed by mammography. And the practice of monthly breast self-examination will alert women to any breast changes that may signal the need for a visit to the doctor.

Medicare covers mammography screening every year for women age 65 and older.  To make an appointment for a mammogram, call the Veterans Memorial Hospital Radiology Department at 563-568-3411.

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