Wednesday, May 7, 2014

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – As Mother’s Day arrives let’s show Mom and the other women in our lives how much we care and remind them to schedule a yearly mammogram.

Are yearly screening mammograms important?

“Early detection is the best protection,” said Laura Umbrell, breast health patient navigator at Rhonda Brake Shreiner Women’s Center. “I have seen many women’s lives saved simply by getting an annual mammogram or reporting a change they detected during a self-exam. The earlier we can detect it, the better the chance for positive outcomes.”

When should you start getting mammograms?

Umbrell said Summit Health supports the American Cancer Society guidelines regarding breast health screenings:

  • Starting in your 20s, a self-breast exam is recommended. Report any changes promptly to your doctor.
  • In your 20s and 30s, get a clinical breast exam about every three years and then every year once you turn 40.
  • In your 40s, yearly mammograms are recommended in addition to self-breast exams and exams by your doctor.
  • If you have a family history or genetic tendency toward breast cancer, an MRI may be recommended by your doctor in addition to mammograms.

“Regular breast self-exams, age appropriate screening mammograms, and a yearly breast exam by a healthcare professional are all important factors in detecting breast cancer at an early stage,” Umbrell said.

Men can have breast cancer too?
Although Mother’s Day is a great time to remind those special women in your life to schedule their annual mammogram, don’t forget about the men in your life.

According to Umbrell about 7 percent of all breast cancers are found in men.

“Any changes that men notice in their breast tissue should be reported to their doctor,” Umbrell said.

“It’s important for us all to be vigilant.”

Umbrell noted that Summit Health offers four convenient locations for mammograms in Franklin County and Shippensburg.

Visit for locations and telephone numbers.

“Mammograms are important, so please take the time to learn more information and schedule yours today,” she said.

Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.

As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, two walk-in care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.