Above, women who are breast cancer survivors circle around two Ringgold County Hospital medical imaging technologists.

Above, women who are breast cancer survivors circle around two Ringgold
County Hospital medical imaging technologists.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month which aims to increase awareness of the disease. Monthly self-exams and annual mammograms are the best way to detect the disease in its earliest, and most treatable stages.

While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages. The American Cancer Society encourages women to make healthy lifestyle choices such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity, and reducing alcohol, if a woman drinks. These choices can help reduce their breast cancer risk. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend women at average risk start screening mammography at age 40 and continue annually or biannually after discussing with their health care provider.

Screening mammography decreases mortality from breast cancer. Residents of Mt. Ayr and surrounding communities are fortunate to have state-of- the-art medical imaging at Ringgold County Hospital. All of the radiologists and technologists at Ringgold County Hospital are state and board certified. Mammograms are performed in a gentle environment designed for comfort and women can be in and out in a little as 10 minutes. The FDAcertified, digital mammography suite offers the best in breast cancer detection; breast biopsies are performed in conjunction with the surgery department.

Did you know breast cancers found during a screening mammogram are more likely to be smaller and still confined to the breast? Finding breast cancer early (called early detection) can improve the chances that breast cancer can be treated successfully and with more treatment options, less extensive surgery, and ultimately, better treatment outcomes.

The American Cancer Society’s breast cancer screening guidelines vary based on a woman’s age and risk factors for breast cancer. It’s generally agreed that annual mammograms for women over the age of 40 are recommended. Talk to your
doctor about the screening plan that is best for you.

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