Highland Hospital’s Breast Imaging Center Event Stresses Importance of Mammography

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Hospitals across the country are hosting events this month to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.  Last week I had the opportunity to attend the 18th annual breast cancer education event hosted by Highland Hospital’s Breast Imaging Center here in Rochester.  This event supports the Imaging Center’s mission of providing comprehensive breast care to the community while also reinforcing that annual mammograms remain the best way to fight breast cancer.

Jennifer Dodd, Carestream Health

Jennifer Dodd, Marketing Analyst, Carestream Health

Despite the effort to raise awareness for the importance of annual breast screening, Avice O’Connell, M.D., Director of the Highland Breast Imaging Center, shared that 1 in 3 women still don’t get a regular mammogram.  She identified the three most common reasons for this decision, which physicians need to proactively address with their patients:

  1. I’m too young:  18% of breast cancer cases are in women under the age of 50, so it continues to be best practice to advocate for annual mammograms beginning at age 40.
  2. I don’t have a family history of cancer:  75% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are the first person in their family to have cancer.
  3. I don’t have enough time:  Annual mammograms are a commitment to yourself and your loved ones.  The amount of time it takes to be screened is minimal compared to the time lost if breast cancer is diagnosed too late.

O’Connell challenged event attendees to share what we learned to support breast screening.  For physicians this means educating patients about the importance of mammograms.

Like many hospitals across the country, the Highland Breast Imaging Center has been offering free mammograms for the past seven years during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and has served close to a thousand women who may not have been screened otherwise.

This year Highland is also one of more than 130 hospitals participating in this year’s Pink Glove Dance Competition.  Staff and physicians from each hospital submitted a video, and the facility receiving the most votes will receive a donation in their name to the breast cancer charity of their choice.  I placed my vote to support this hospital’s mission!  Check out their fun video below or vote at the link above.


How are you educating patients about the importance of regular breast screening? 


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