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Gundersen Boscobel stresses the importance of mammograms during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Thursday, October 01, 2020

More than 300,000 women in the U.S. will face a breast cancer diagnosis this year. That's one in 8 women.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer, the most common cancer among women.

Breast cancer is most often caused by aging. The most common risk factors include a family history of breast cancer, lack of physical activity and excess weight or obesity after menopause.

While October brings awareness, Gundersen encourages women to make early detection a priority by scheduling annual wellness visits and mammograms throughout the year.

"One of the best methods of early detection is a mammogram," said Family medicine provider Colleen McCurry, MD. "Regular mammograms are recommended for women 40 years of age and older. In addition to annual mammograms, there are proactive things you can do to help lower your risk for breast cancer, including regular exercise, adequate sleep, healthy eating and limited alcohol intake."

Gundersen Boscobel brings the power of 3D mammography close to home with the mobile "Mammography Coach" at least monthly. Standard 2D mammograms are also available.

"The benefit of 3D mammography is that breast tissue can be evaluated layer by layer, so details are no longer hidden by overlapping tissue," said Director of Ancillary Services Judy Dayton.

Most mammograms reveal no problems. However, if an abnormality or questionable finding is detected—which occurs in about one in 10 women—additional screening, such as a diagnostic mammogram, diagnostic ultrasound or ultrasound-guided biopsy is often the next step.

"Early detection is essential to fighting the disease as effectively as possible," Dr. McCurry said.

Women are encouraged to talk with their provider to learn whether they could benefit from a 3D mammogram. To schedule a mammogram, contact your Gundersen Boscobel primary care provider at (608) 375-4144 or visit us online to learn more.

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