Mammography: Start With One, Commit for a Lifetime What You Need to Know About the Importance of Mammography



    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The month of October is Breast
 Cancer Awareness Month, with Oct. 15 as National Mammography Day.  The
 American Society of Radiologic Technologists represents health care
 professionals who perform mammograms and other diagnostic imaging exams and
 who support breast cancer prevention.  The ASRT and its members promote breast
 cancer awareness by showing the importance of screening by mammography.
     According to the American Cancer Society, more than 215,000 new cases of
 breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2004 and an estimated 40,580 deaths from
 breast cancer will occur (40,110 women and 470 men).  Yet the ACS shows that
 there is a 97 percent survival rate if the cancer is detected early.(1)
     While the rate of women getting yearly or biannual mammograms has
 increased during the past decade and the mortality rate has declined by about
 20 percent, almost 40 percent of women over 40 have not had a mammogram within
 the last year.  According to ACS, mammography screening beginning at age 40
 can prevent approximately 16 percent of all deaths from breast cancer.(2, 3)
     "Many women justify not getting mammograms because they deny that breast
 cancer will have an impact on their own lives," said Cathy Parsons, B.S.,
 R.T.(R)(M)(QM), administrative director of medical imaging at Cumberland
 Medical Center in Crossville, Tenn.  "The truth is that there are women with
 no risk factors at all who develop breast cancer -- some who are in their
 early 30s."
     Even though risk for breast cancer increases with age, many women are not
 including screening as part of their health care routine.  For women at high
 risk, minorities and those with low incomes, this problem is even more
 severe.(4)
     With these frightening statistics, facilities around the country are
 acknowledging Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Mammography Day by
 offering free or discounted mammograms.  To identify a facility in any area
 that is participating in awareness programs visit the American College of
 Radiology Web site, www.acr.org, and click on ACR Quick Links.
     "Many women believe that mammograms are painful," continued Ms. Parsons,
 who is president-elect of the ASRT.  "They sometimes can be a little
 uncomfortable, but that few minutes of discomfort might save your life
 someday."
 
     About ASRT
     The ASRT is an Albuquerque-based association representing more than
 113,000 members nationwide who perform medical diagnostic imaging procedures
 or plan and deliver radiation therapy.  The Society is the largest radiologic
 science organization in the world.
 
      (1)  American Cancer Society Web site,
           http://www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/CAFF2004PWSecured.pdf.
 
      (2)  National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health
           Promotion, Centers for Disease Control Web site,
           http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/burdenbook2004/Section03/mammog.htm.
 
      (3)  American Cancer Society Web site,
           http://www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/CAFF2003BrFPWSecured.pdf.
 
      (4)  American Cancer Society Web site,
           http://www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/CAFF2003BrFPWSecured.pdf.
 
 

SOURCE American Society of Radiologic Technologists

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