Baseline Mammograms – How Important Are They?
When the Fulton County Medical Center Diagnostic Services Department sat down this year with the promotions staff to plan Women’s Health Week, they realized their Public Relations Director Misty Hershey just turned 35. What’s the big deal? Well in the world of mammography, the number 35 is key. At 35, every woman should have their first mammogram, called a baseline. This baseline will be used in later years to compare to more current mammograms and evaluate for any changes in density that may have occurred.
The American College of Radiology and Dr. Frank D’Amelio of Fulton Diagnostic Radiology recommends a baseline mammogram for all women at age 35. Then starting at the age of 40 one should have a mammogram on a yearly basis.
Another reason for Hershey to get her first baseline mammogram at FCMC is that, recently FCMC acquired a Second Look CAD system to complement the digital mammography system already in place since 2007. This is computer assisted software that helps the radiologist in the early detection of breast cancer. According to D’Amelio, “With today’s resources and the patient’s due diligence in getting yearly mammograms, breast cancer can be detected early providing the patient with a 92 percent five-year survival rate and with a high probability of cure.”
“This technology really helps ease my concerns regarding the detection of breast cancer. With my job, as a PR director, anytime you have a second set of eyes viewing something, the more apt you are to catch mistakes, I think it’s just great that the women in our community can get this high quality detection here at FCMC,” said Hershey.
Hershey, who comes from a large family, is challenging her family and you to get your mammogram. If you’re a woman between the ages of 35 and 40, join Hershey in scheduling your baseline mammogram today. If you are over 40, the next time you visit your physician, ask for a referral for your yearly mammogram.
Also, to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month, FCMC Diagnostic Services is hosting Women’s Health Week, which runs October 19- 23 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the main lobby of Fulton County Medical Center. Diagnostic Services will be giving away one free baseline mammogram each day through a drawing. There will also be daily door prizes, screenings, vendors and lots of information. For a complete listing, please check it out at www.fcmcpa.org.