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Thursday, 17 October 2019 13:49

When You ‘Think Pink’ Think Mammogram

By Mildred Aviles | News

Don’t Put Off This Important Cancer Screening

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and pink is everywhere. It’s a powerful, wonderful reminder to support breast cancer patients and survivors and the research that is helping them live longer and better.

Pink is also about prevention and early detection—and that means mammograms.

We live in one of the healthiest counties in New York state, yet we lag behind in a critical measure of women’s health: mammography screening.

More than one in five, or 22.1%, of Saratoga County women ages 50 to 74 are skipping their mammograms. If you’re one of these women, you’re missing out on the best chance to find breast cancer early, when treatment tends to be more effective—and your odds of survival are higher.

Saratoga County’s mammography screening rate is lower than that of both the Capital Region and New York state as a whole, excluding New York City. 

We can do better. And that will save lives.

What’s stopping you?

Those of us who work in healthcare hear the excuses all the time. “It costs too much.” “I work, so I don’t have time.” “No one in my family has ever had breast cancer.”

In fact:

• There’s no cost to you. New York state has eliminated annual deductibles and co-payments for annual mammograms—and Saratoga Hospital has taken it a step further. We’ve been offering advanced 3-D mammography since 2015. If your insurance company doesn’t cover the higher-tech 3-D scans, don’t worry. We cover the difference. It’s important to us that you have your mammogram and benefit from the best technology available. 

We also have a no-cost program for patients who don’t have insurance. If you’re uninsured or underinsured, don’t let that stop you.

• We have Saturday and extended weekday hours. You can get your mammogram after work or on the weekend if that’s what fits your schedule. And, no matter when you have your mammogram, you can have confidence in the care you receive and the results. Our Women’s Imaging Center is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) as a “Breast Imaging Center of Excellence.” We’re also the only hospital in the Capital Region to earn the ACR designation of “Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence.”

• Most women with breast cancer have no family history of the disease. It’s true that if you have a close relative with breast cancer, you are at higher risk of getting the disease. But only 13%-16% of women with breast cancer fall into that category. The rest are the first in their family to have breast cancer.

So, no excuses. 

The next time you see pink, please, think of and support those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer. And, do something for yourself. Schedule your mammogram. Call 518-580-2232, and we’ll take it from there. 

Mildred Aviles is director of medical imaging at Saratoga Hospital. SaratogaHospital.org.

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