Providence Saint Joseph Expands Availability for Mammogram Appointments Throughout October
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center’s Breast Health Center is offering greater access to screening mammograms.
“We want to make the process of getting a mammogram as accessible and convenient as possible, particularly for those who may find it challenging to come in during regular business hours.” said Rosanne Morrison, director of the Disney Family Cancer Center at Providence Saint Joseph. “We have extended the availability of mammogram appointments to include select evenings and Saturdays throughout October.”
Appointments can be scheduled by calling 818-847-3550.
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, making it the most common cancer among women according to the American Cancer Society. The good news is that when found early, breast cancer is often easier to treat and more likely to be cured.
Early diagnosis involves a combination of high touch and high tech.
“Women themselves can be great early detection sleuths,” said Lisa Laurent, MD, MBA MS-HQSM, chief medical officer at Providence Saint Joseph. “By conducting monthly self-examinations using both touch and sight, women are able to spot changes in their breasts.”
This can include lumps, dimpling or nipple discharge, any of which can be early indicators of cancer.
The Breast Health Center, which is located at the Disney Family Cancer Center, is a state-of-the-art facility that offers a variety of preventive and diagnostic services, including high-tech 3D mammography, ultrasound and biopsies—as well as expedited appointments for patients with urgent breast concerns.
These same- or next-day evaluations allow patients to meet with a nurse practitioner, who specializes in breast health, to address concerns about breast pain, lumps or masses; nipple discharge; or changes in breast shape, appearance or skin. The consultation also includes an extensive review of health and family history, individual risk factors, breast infections (such as mastitis), and male breast conditions.
“Imagine finding a lump in your breast and calling your doctor to find the soonest appointment is three or more weeks away,” said Dr. Laurent. “We understand that you may be fearing the worst, and the anxiety of waiting even days could feel unbearable. Most breast issues are not cancer and can be easily resolved, but if it is cancer, no time is wasted. We help patients navigate the care they need.”
The American Cancer Society recommends that women at average risk of breast cancer start getting mammograms every year starting at age 40. Women at higher risk, such as those with a family history, genetic mutation, or history of chest radiation, may need to start screening younger and more frequently.
This October the team at Providence Saint Joseph’s Breast Health Center urges local residents to take action for themselves and others by scheduling a mammogram. “The best gift women can give those they care about is the gift of self-care,” said Dr. Laurent. “Getting a mammogram could be the most important thing you do for yourself and those you love this month.”
About the Breast Health Center
The Disney Family Cancer Center at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center is home to some of the best breast cancer specialists in the region. The team covers the full spectrum of care, from diagnosis and treatment to long-term survivorship. The center also features an integrative medicine program, which offers complementary therapies proven to be effective when used with conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. For more information, call 818-748-4900.