1 in 8: Breast Cancer Prevention

1 in 8: Breast Cancer Prevention

Methodist North Mammographer, Donna Morris, and Director of Radiology Services, Gary Britt, stand in front of their mammography machine.

Methodist North Mammographer, Donna Morris, and Director of Radiology Services, Gary Britt, stand in front of their mammography machine.

1 in 8. 

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That is how many American women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer in their lifetime. That is why October has become "Breast Cancer Awareness Month," and why hospitals such as Methodist North Hospital and Saint Francis Hospital - Bartlett offer special mammogram events during this month. It's incredibly important to follow the recommended guidelines for how often to receive mammograms. Mammograms are a screening procedure that are crucial in early cancer detection - in fact, they are able to detect up to 92% of cancer. 

Here at Cypress, we got the chance to get some firsthand insight into what mammography entails and why it is so vitally important to women's health. At Methodist North, the Director of Radiology Services led me to the room in which they perform mammography screenings. He also kindly introduced me to the "Chief Mammographer," Donna Morris, who has worked for Methodist for over 20 years and performs about 350 mammograms every month. That number rises even higher during the month of October because of the public effort to raise breast cancer awareness. Morris explained that mammograms are vital to detecting breast cancer early. "Early detection is key," she emphasized. Mammograms are the very first line in defense of breast cancer.

"Mammograms & Massages" takes place on Saturday, October 14th from 9 a.m to 1 p.m at Methodist North Diagnostic Center. It is completely free to attend and no appointments are needed! This is the first year that the Methodist will be offering this event, and Ashanti Hodges is very excited. "We are excited to give a spa-like experience," she explained. On top of getting mammograms, women can enjoy massages, manicures and pedicures, and light refreshments.They are also holding a talk on breast cancer at the Raleigh Branch Library (3157 Powers Road, Memphis, TN 38128). on Monday, October 16th from 1 to 2 pm. 

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"Mammos 'Til Midnight" began back in 2013. The 5th annual event takes place at the Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett Imaging Center on October 20th from 4 pm to 12 am by appointment only.  They have 45 appointment slots available. At this event, women can enjoy wine and other drinks, Hor d'oeuvres, and just relax and have fun. I asked Derek Venckus, the Public Relations and Marketing Director at Saint Francis Hospital - Bartlett, what gave them the idea to begin holding this event.  "We wanted to do something special," he explained. "On top of that, it's often hard for women to get away from their jobs." The extended hours make it much more accessible to women who work during the day and don't typically have time to schedule an appointment. To schedule your appointment for this event, please visit saintfrancisbartlett.com/midnight-mammo?  utm_source=organic_facebook&utm_medium=FSO&utm_campaign=201709_NA_SFB_ONCO or call (901) 820 - 7575.

In addition to their "Mammos 'Til Midnight" program, Saint Francis does other programs for breast cancer awareness as well. These include a "Making Strides for Breast Cancer" walk in which Saint Francis-Bartlett teams up with Memphis and raise money and awareness for breast cancer. Please be on the lookout for any other upcoming events because Saint Francis is always working to raise breast cancer awareness!

While mammograms are very important, giving yourself monthly breast exams can help you detect any unusual lumps or knots early. "Many women aren't aware of just how hard they have to press, because some of these knots are so deep in the breast tissue," Hodges explained. Many women also don't know to also check the tissue near their armpits, which may cause them to miss something. They offer patients this incredibly helpful guide on giving yourself a breast exam, seen pictured.

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At Methodist North, they offer these useful handouts giving a guide on giving yourself a breast exam.

At Methodist North, they offer these useful handouts giving a guide on giving yourself a breast exam.

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