Healthy Perspectives - Spring 2013 - (Page 6)

Battling the Myths of Mammography “It’s expensive.” “It hurts.” And a couple of other beliefs you may be wrong about Ellen L. Abeln, M.D., Suburban Radiologic Consultants, specializes in breast imaging with a focus on mammography and diagnostic breast procedures at MMH. Darlene Wendroth is an MMH volunteer and a wonderful supporter for breast cancer awareness in our community. Join Us! Get involved in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life on June 14 and 15 at the Meeker County Fairgrounds in Litchfield from 4 p.m. June 14 to 7 a.m. June 15. Visit and search “Meeker County.” 6 • 320-693-3242 T here are no sure things in medicine, but mammography comes close. Regular mammograms have been proven to find breast cancer at its earliest stages, when treatments are most effective. But many women fail to take advantage of these powerful, potentially lifesaving tests because of unfounded fears. If you’re one of them, let’s break down the barriers. Barrier 1: “i’m afraid insurance won’t cover it.” Coverage in Minnesota is required if you are age 40 or older. Most insurance programs or Medicare will pay for most of the cost of a screening mammogram every 12 months. If needed, Medicare will pay for a diagnostic mammogram at any time. There also may be low- and nocost screening programs like the Sage Screening Program, which is a Minnesota-wide, comprehensive breast and cervical cancer control program whose primary objective is to increase the number of women who are screened for breast cancer and cervical cancer. The program begins with a physician exam and then a scheduled mammogram. At Meeker Memorial Hospital (MMH), the program is available to women who are 40 or older, have no insurance and have an income within the program guidelines. MMH also has some donated dollars available through the MMH Foundation to cover screening costs. These funds will be awarded to individuals on an as-needed basis if they have no insurance coverage or are not qualified for other programs. Barrier 2: “The test is too painful.” Yes, the test can be a bit uncomfortable, but most women don’t consider it painful. During mammography, your breast is placed on a special platform and compressed with a plastic paddle. Compression helps hold the breast still, evens out the breast tissue and allows lower doses of X-rays to be used. Because there is pressure on the breast, the American Cancer Society recommends you schedule the procedure one week after your period, when your breasts are least tender. If you feel pain, speak up. The technologist may be able to lower the compression and relieve some of the pressure on your breast. And remember that the actual digital X-ray takes less than one minute. Barrier 3: “i just don’t have time.” You don’t have half an hour, once a year? From start to finish, a basic screening mammogram lasts about 15 to 20 minutes. A more in-depth diagnostic mammogram, which takes images from more angles, runs 30 to 45 minutes. If that still sounds like too much time, think about this: Several large studies

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Healthy Perspectives - Spring 2013

Healthy Perspectives - Spring 2013
Navigating an Emergency
Tips for Successful Weight Loss
Battling the Myths of Mammography

Healthy Perspectives - Spring 2013