MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. -- October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and medical officials say women should think about prevention not only this month but year round.
Marshall Medical Centers North and South got new 3D imaging equipment for mammograms this year that can better detect breast cancer. With breast cancer cited as the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women, the staff there say it's a life-saving tool. "The advantage of the 3D mammogram is the fact that we are able to visualize the breast tissue layer by layer instead of just a 2D image," said Marlana Holsinger, mammographer for Marshall Medical Center South.
The key is early detection, and the new equipment will do it. It's proven to detect breast cancer 15 months earlier. "Studies have shown that 3D imaging actually can detect 40 percent more invasive breast cancers than traditional," Holsinger said.
"Patients should know that it is a short procedure, there's minimal discomfort with most patients and it's safe," explained lead mammographer at Marshall Medical Center North Kerrie Washburn. "There's a small amount of radiation that goes into the test. A baseline should be done at the age of 35 and then annually starting at the age of 40."
While breast cancer awareness is pushed during the month of October, medical officials say it's something women should think about year round.
"Just a few minutes a year, just to help you save your life," Washburn said.
The staff at the Marshall Medical Centers will put on a Pink Pumpkin Run later this month to benefit breast cancer awareness programs. The run is October 28 and it features a 5k, a 10k, and a fun run. Registration is at Guntersville's Civitan Park. For more details click here.
You can also buy a t-shirt to help support the Mammography Assistance Program, which helps women who can't afford them. The shirts are under $20 and there are two different styles. You can call the Diagnostic Imaging Department at Marshall Medical Center North to get yours.