Did you know that one in eight women born today may get breast cancer at
some point during her lifetime? Did you know that breast cancer is the
second most common type of cancer in women? It's true, on both accounts
– but the good news is that today many women are surviving breast
cancer, thanks in part to annual mammograms and early detection.
With this in mind, Harlingen Medical Center (HMC) is offering a $99 Digital
Mammogram special during the month of October, in observance of National
Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
"Mammograms are important in that they are used to check for breast
cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms," said Adelina Torres,
Mammography Technologist at Harlingen Medical Center's Radiology and
Imaging Department. "Mammograms make it possible to detect tumors
that cannot be felt, find 'micro-calcifications' that sometimes
indicate the presence of breast cancer, and identify breast cancer after
a lump or other sign or symptom of the disease has been found."
"Early detection of breast cancer with a mammogram means that treatment
can begin earlier in the course of the disease, possibly before it has
spread," Ms. Torres added. "Statistics indicate that a mammogram
can help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer among women between
the ages of 40 and 74."
Harlingen Medical Center's Radiology and Imaging Department offers
digital mammograms, which allow the hospital to store the electronic image
of the breast directly as a computer file. The digital image can then
be enhanced and magnified for further evaluation by a radiologist, and
an oncologist if necessary.
"One of the commitments we have to our patients is that we provide
them with efficient and effective service, and the digital mammogram is
a good example of that," said Amy Flores, RN, MSN, Chief Nursing
Officer and Vice President for Clinical Services at Harlingen Medical
Center. "Digital mammograms allow our radiologists to store, retrieve,
and adjust digital images electronically. These images can also improve
the opportunity to detect subtle differences between normal and abnormal
tissues -- and reduce the exposure of radiation by reducing the number
of images needed."
"Getting a mammogram once a year, over the age of 40, is still the
most effective way to detect breast cancer," Ms. Torres added. "Some
women are reluctant, or nervous, to have a mammogram. But they can start
on their own, at home, by doing a breast self-exam. If they notice any
unusual changes in their breasts, they should contact and visit with their
health care provider immediately."
The $99 digital mammogram price is only valid during the month of October.
This is a flat rate and must be "self-pay", paid for by the
patient with cash, credit card or check (not by insurance). To register
for the $99 digital mammogram, please call the Harlingen Medical Center
Registration Department at (956) 365-1839.