Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. What most people are not aware of is that the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 90 percent when detected early. Breast cancer is a common disease and most of the time can be detected early with routine screening. Caucasian women are more likely to develop breast cancer, but African-American women are higher in deaths related to breast cancer.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. What better time to remind women to have their annual mammogram. And, for many women, a mammogram is provided at Scotland Memorial Hospital free of charge.
Scotland Memorial Foundation raised funds through generous philanthropic support of many community members and corporate sponsors during the 2011 Putting on the Ritz – A Gala of Giving. These funds provide free mammograms to uninsured patients with financial concerns throughout Scotland Health Care System’s service area, including Richmond County. A physician referral is required, so talk to your doctor about scheduling a mammogram.
“Last year, over 200 free mammograms were performed with funds raised by Scotland Memorial Foundation,” said Kirsten Dean, Executive Director of Scotland Memorial Foundation. “The addition of the Komen funds almost triples the number of free mammograms we are able to provide. The impact this will have on Scotland County and the communities we serve will be tremendous and lifesaving.”
All women should have an initial mammogram by the time they are 40 years old and each year thereafter. A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images, comparing them to her previous mammograms. A signed report is sent to her referring doctor, who will then discuss the results with her.
If follow-up examinations are necessary, the doctor will explain the reason why it’s needed and what type it will be. Sometimes a follow-up exam is done because a suspicious or questionable finding needs clarification with additional views or a special imaging technique. A follow-up examination may be necessary so that any change in a known abnormality can be monitored over time.
Those who are interested in having a free mammogram should contact their physician for a referral. Contact Scotland Memorial Foundation at 910-291-7558 to learn more about how you can provide assistance to patients in need.