Fear Not, Part 2: Every Day People Decide to Delay or Skip Important Health Screenings Because They are Apprehensive

By: Porter Regional Hospital Last Updated: August 14, 2015

porter-screenings-woman-with-doctorHere, Porter’s professionals take a look at three diagnostic tests and help calm your fears, because taking these tests could save your life. The next is a Mammogram.

Most of the fear comes from the unknown. Why am I having the test? What is involved? How do I prepare?

Why You Need It
Mammograms are a screening tool for breast cancer. “It’s recommended women at average risk start having regular mammograms at age 40*,” said Breast Care Patient Navigator Peggy Banks, RN. According to the American College of Radiology a mammogram can detect tumors up to two years before a patient or the physician can feel them. And the American Cancer Society reports that breast cancers found during a screening mammogram tend to be small and still confined to the breast, increasing the chances they can be treated. “It’s vitally important to find ‘something’ when it’s small,” adds Peggy. Thee five-year survival rate is 98% for those whose cancer is detected before it spreads to the lymph nodes.* “So don’t put off your mammograms because it’s all about early detection.”

What to Expect
You will need to undress from the waist up and you will be provided a wrap. When your breast is compressed you will feel pressure on your breast for a few seconds. “We usually take two pictures of each breast,” explained Peggy. A screening mammogram is quick, taking about 20 minutes from start to finish and actual breast compression only lasts a few seconds.

Good to Know
“At Porter, our staff does all we can to make having a mammogram a positive experience,” Peggy said. “To minimize any discomfort, you may wish to schedule your mammogram at a time when your breasts are less sensitive, such as the week after your period. Let the technician know that you might be sensitive. You may also take an over-thecounter pain reliever before your mammogram,” shared Banks. “We encourage women to make scheduling your mammogram part of your routine healthcare plan,” she emphasized.

If an initial mammogram reveals that your breast tissue is too dense for effective imaging, you may request a 3D mammogram, offered at Porter’s Center for Women’s Health. The 3D technology allows the technician to see multiple layers of the breast, much like opening pages of a book. The 3D process takes only seconds longer than the traditional digital image. Porter also offers ultrasound and MRI technology to assist in more advanced, diagnostic mammography.

For any questions regarding your screening mammogram, contact Breast Care Patient Navigator Peggy Banks, RN at 219-983-6128. To schedule your mammogram, call 219-983-8399.

to me it's super important becauase what they do impacts the community and they do a great job giving back to the community. THe programs and services they offer Just really cool people to work for. THeir knowledge is pretty amazing. I always learn something new. Lots of knowledge and had some cool experiences in their lives, running and nonrunning related. I think that helps them to make good community connections as well.

Click here to read more from Porter's Summer 2015 StayHealthy magazine!