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Mammograms Can Save Lives

According to the American Cancer Society, about one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime.

Gunnison Valley Health’s diagnostic radiologist and breast imaging specialist Dr. Karien Campbell cannot stress enough the importance of routine screening for women over the age of 40 or those with a history of breast cancer.

“All women are at risk of developing breast cancer,” said Dr. Campbell. “Approximately 90 percent of patients who have developed breast cancers do not have any family history.”

“Scientific studies have shown that patients who regularly undertake a mammogram will reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer by 38 percent. The earlier you detect breast cancer, the easier it is to treat and the better the outcome,” Dr. Campbell added.

Thanks to the support of Cattlemen’s Days Tough Enough To Wear Pink (TETWP), Gunnison Valley Health has the most advanced 3D tomosynthesis breast imaging technology which is now the recommended standard of care.

“The superior performance of mammography with tomosynthesis resides in the fact that images of the breast tissue are obtained in multiple layers, limiting cancers from being obscured by overlying breast tissue,” said Dr. Campbell. “This advanced technology finds more invasive breast cancers than standard 2D mammography in dense breast tissue which is very common in our healthy and active community.”

“TETWP has also funded biopsy equipment and a breast MRI coil, ensuring that we have the most advanced equipment to deliver comprehensive breast care services within the Gunnison Valley.”

Cattlemen’s Days Tough Enough To Wear Pink Heidi Sherratt said that only a small portion of women in Gunnison and Hinsdale Counties receive mammograms.

“Based on the US Census data in Gunnison and Hinsdale Counties and screenings conducted at Gunnison Valley Health, only 26% of women in the last 12 months over the age of 45 had a mammogram,” Sherratt said. “There really should be no excuses to delay a mammogram. Most insurances include one mammogram each year and for those who are not insured, TETWP will cover the cost of a mammogram performed at Gunnison Valley Health.”

“Our goal is to ensure women residing in Gunnison and Hinsdale Counties have access to the latest equipment right here in the Valley without the need to travel to major cities,” she said.

“We are very thankful for TETWP’s continued support in facilitating our ability to deliver the best in breast care services to our community,” Dr. Campbell added.

To support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Gunnison Valley Health is offering a complimentary massage if you schedule your mammogram on a Monday. For more information on Mammo Mondays and to make an appointment, please contact Gunnison Valley Health’s Diagnostic Imaging Department at (970) 641-7253.