FULTON, NY – October 21 marks National Mammography Day. Have you scheduled your yearly mammogram yet?
According to the National Day calendar website, National Mammography Day is observed each year on the third Friday in the month of October, the month nationally recognizing breast cancer awareness.
The day was first proclaimed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and “serves as a reminder to all women that the best defense is early detection.”
Locally, employees of Oswego Health wore pink in support of National Mammography Day.
“A digital mammogram with computer aided detection is one of the tools I use to diagnose breast cancer,” said Allison A. N. Duggan, MD Oswego Hospital Executive Vice President/COO. “Screening mammography remains the most practical and cost-effective study available for the early detection of breast cancer today and is an unparalleled asset in our fight against breast cancer. I also encourage women to have a yearly clinical breast exam, which is another vital screening tool that should not be overlooked.”
Oswego Health continues to recommend women to get an annual mammogram beginning at age 40 as part of breast cancer screening.
Thanks to funding from State Senator Patty Ritchie, Oswego Health will offer free screenings for women over the age of 40 who have been unable to receive a mammogram due to financial restriction.
Oswego Health prides itself on caring, patient employees who strive to give patients the best possible care.
“I like helping women through the process, either I’m helping to calm the nerves of a first time mammogram patient of talking someone through the process of finding an abnormality on a mammogram and what is done next,” said X-ray technician/mammographer for Oswego Health at the Fulton Medical Center, Lynn Mieczkowski.
A public comment under a posting on Oswego Health’s Facebook page applauded the mammogram team at Oswego Hospital as well.
“Oswego Hospital’s mammo team is awesome! In and out, very professional and kind. Nothing to it…. don’t put it off ladies!” the comment read.
The recurring theme to not wait to schedule an annual mammogram follows sound advice as mammograms and screening can earlier detect cancer or abnormalities.
“It’s important for women to do their regular yearly mammograms because early detection is key to saving breasts and lives. A mammogram can see a lump/lesion long before it is felt by the woman,” said Mieczkowski.
Fulton resident Susan Kemp recalls her yearly mammogram appointment in October of 2014 in which she faced the unfortunate reality of a finding that was ultimately breast cancer.
“They found mine early and it was during my yearly mammogram. If I didn’t do the yearly mammogram, I’m not sure when it would have been found and my outcome could have been a lot worse than it was,” Kemp said, now a survivor of breast cancer.
Kemp, just one face of the many women worldwide that courageously battle breast cancer, considers herself fortunate to have had a mammogram provide early detection and encourages all women to participate in yearly mammograms and cancer screenings.
So today, as National Mammogram Day comes to an end, we too encourage all women to schedule a mammogram if they haven’t had one so far this year. Use the hashtag #NationalMammogramDay on social media to encourage others to do the same.