MARYSVILLE – In honor of national Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, Community Memorial Healthcare (CMH) will offer a walk-in clinic and extended hours for 3D mammograms on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. The clinic will see patients on a first come, first serve basis from noon until 7 p.m. on the 15th.
Patients are not required to give prior physician orders for a screening, but will be asked to provide contact information for a primary care physician so results can be sent for physician review. If a patient does not have established care with a provider, CMH general surgeon Dr. Cheryl Rice will review results for those patients.
“We hope offering this clinic allows a whole new group of women to take an active role in their own breast health who otherwise might have continued to delay their screenings,” said Brenda Heideman, CMH radiology director.
Preventative mammogram screenings are usually covered once a year by most insurance plans. Women over the age of 40 should be screened annually, especially those with a family history of cancer.
“Regular screenings for women are critical to help us identify and treat potential problems as soon as possible,” said Heideman. “Regular mammograms for women between 50-69 can reduce deaths from breast cancer by 30%.”
3D mammography has been offered at CMH since May of this year. With this technology upgrade, CMH has been able to reduce the number of callbacks and reimaging needed for diagnosis, as well as reduce overall patient radiation levels, making mammograms received more effective and safer for the patient.
“3D imaging is particularly important for women with dense breast tissue,” said Dr. Rice, “because dense breast tissue is the most difficult to image with traditional mammography, and simultaneously also more likely to have a mass.” About half of women over the age of 40 have dense breasts, Rice said. “Switching from 2D mammography to 3D mammography keeps CMH up to date with standards of care in more urban areas, allowing patients to receive their care locally without travel,” said Rice.
Dr. Rice has extensive training and experience in overall breast health, with diagnosis and treatment of diseases, including cancer. Rice said she hopes one day that Marysville will be considered a regional hub for breast care.
No appointments are necessary for the walk-in clinic on Oct. 15. Regardless of if you’re able to attend, Heideman encourages all women between 40-65 to think seriously during Breast Cancer Awareness Month about scheduling their next annual screening, as one in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes. “We hope, through early detection and treatment, to be able to reduce that number in our community,” Heideman says. To schedule a 3D mammogram appointment, please call 785-562-4465.