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Prime Time, August Issue

Lovelace Health System knows that mammograms and early detection can save lives for breast cancer patients. Because mammograms are a doctor’s best tool for detecting changes in your breasts, they are vital in assessing your total breast health. The American Cancer Society recommends a baseline mammogram for all women by age 40 and annual mammograms after that.  Compared to other cancers, breast cancer is more treatable if found early. Currently, mammography, monthly breast exams and clinical breast exams are the main ways to screen for breast cancer. It is extremely important for a woman to have regular mammograms to detect early breast cancer. 

You can reduce the risk of developing breast and other types of cancers by having a healthy lifestyle. This means:

•    Diets rich in vegetables and fruits
•    Diets low in fats, and low in red and overcooked meats
•    Regular exercise and weight reduction
•    Avoiding cigarettes
•    Avoiding regular alcohol intake

There are two important aspects in breast cancer prevention: early detection and risk reduction. Screening may identify early noninvasive cancers and allow treatment before they become invasive. Screening can also help identify invasive cancers at an early, more treatable stage.  But screening does not prevent breast cancer. Breast cancer prevention really must be understood as risk reduction. For the average person, lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, weight loss, etc.) are recommended and have many other benefits.

Lovelace Health System facilities do not require a doctor’s order for a screening mammogram.  Those facilities include Lovelace Women’s Hospital and Lovelace Westside Hospital.  We also provide mammography via the Assured Imaging Mobile Mammography Unit, which travels all over New Mexico. 

Lovelace Women’s Hospital’s Breast Care Center is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers for providing the highest level of quality care to its patients. Our team of breast health professionals will help you assess your risk of developing breast cancer, guide you through mammograms and clinical exams and teach you the proper method of breast self-examination. We also offer counseling, education and support programs.

To schedule a clinical breast exam or mammogram, call 505.727-8966 or visit www.lovelace.com.

Side Bar:
Myth:  Seniors no longer need mammograms.
Fact:  False. The older a woman becomes the more at risk she is for developing breast cancer. 

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