Thursday, December 17, 2009

Guest Column: Debates Worth Arguing

Guest Post by Gina Fuller, RTR, director of radiology

The recent controversy surrounding when to screen for breast cancer with mammography has caused quite a stir in the media. The facts prevail. Mammography has reduced the breast cancer death rate by 30 percent in the United States since 1990. That is hardly a small number! GRMC has many successful stories of patients who identified breast cancer at stage 0 or 1, before it was detectable by touch. Those people understand and truly appreciate why mammography is important.

When to have a mammogram and how frequent remains a personal choice that you decide with the advice of your primary care provider. It always has been. If you are concerned about your risks for breast cancer, please talk with your doctor and schedule a preventive mammogram. Don’t let statistics and recommendations make the decision for you. Follow your instincts and seek out care when you have questions or concerns.

The American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and the radiologists at Iowa Radiology, who read our mammography exams, all agree that the benefits of mammography outweigh the risks of exposure to radiation or the anxiety of additional imaging. Experience has proven that.

Our new digital mammography unit offers the newest in mammography equipment and our radiologists offer the best in interpretation. We all must remember that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has only made a recommendation. This is not a rule! You are still in charge of your own health so please do so wisely! You have a powerful combination available to you at GRMC.

To schedule a mammogram, talk to your primary care provider for an order and then call GRMC's radiology department at 641-236-2355.

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent GRMC’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

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