Catalina Island

Digital Mammograms Scheduled For February 6-7, 2015

Digital Mammograms Scheduled For February 6-7, 2015, at CIMC. By Judy Hibbs.

Inner Images will return to CIMC to provide digital mammograms on Friday, February , and Saturday, February 7, 2015. This is an important and potential lifesaving screening for all women. Breast cancer is a common cancer but millions more are surviving the disease thanks in part to early detection (self exams and mammograms) and new and dramatic improvements in treatment. For many years, the only option was mammograms that record images of the breast on X-ray type film. Now, digital mammograms are being offered for the second time here at Catalina Island Medical Center. Digital mammograms store and analyze the information using a computer. Mammograms work by sending X-rays through the breast tissue to obtain images. These pictures are then analyzed for abnormalities and assessed for changes from previous tests. To get the best images possible in a digital mammogram, the technologist needs to flatten and compress the breasts before taking images. Breasts will be positioned between two special plates before X-rays are used to take the image. The entire test lasts about 20 minutes. The “cash payer’s” discounted cost for patients without third party coverage is $175 (which includes a required breast exam at a cost of $75.) Women may eliminate the cost of the breast exam by providing a written referral from a doctor dated within the last 30 days.

The Breast Cancer Detection Program is available for low income women who don’t have insurance coverage. The cost of mammograms may also be covered by individual or group health plans which pay for preventative care and wellness exams.A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine compared digital mammograms to to the traditional “film” mammograms. Medical researchers determined that digital mammograms were superior to film mammograms for three groups: women under 50 years of age; women with dense breasts; and women who have not yet gone through menopause, or who have been in menopause less than one year. This study involved 49,000 women in North America with no known signs of breast cancer. The women were screened using both digital and film mammograms at the beginning of the study and again one year later. Breast cancer was found in 335 of the women. Every woman needs to know that the risk of breast cancer is real and that they must be diligent in performing breast self exams and having a yearly mammogram. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms for women starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health. More than 250,000 women int he United States will be diagnosed with some form of breast cancer annually — that’s approximately 1 in 8 women. More than 40,000 succumb tot he disease every year. If breast cancer is caught early, there is a 96 percent five-year survival rate, making education, awareness and preventative screenings crucial. For more information about scheduling a mammogram appointment at CIMC on Friday February 6, or Saturday, February 7, please call (310) 510-0096 and ask for Linda or Cristina. Catalina Island Medical Center’s mission is to provide quality healthcare to each individual and improve the overall health of our community. CALL TO MAKE A MAMMOGRAM APPOINTMENT TODAY!