ANSBACH, Germany -- The Katterbach Health Clinic scheduled a mammogram screening for women at the local hospital here May 22.

Of the 16 slots available, only half were filled.

"We gave them a call and asked them to come in to have the mammogram preformed," Daniel Cotti-Diaz, a registered nurse at the clinic who is serving as a clinical case manager. "Sometimes people are reluctant to go either because they don't want to or they are afraid of what they will find."

Women 40 or older are encouraged to discuss an appropriate age to have a mammogram with their provider. Personal- and family-health history help providers determine an appropriate age for women to have their first mammogram.

According to information on, women between the ages of 50-74 are recommended to be screened every two years. Women are more likely to get breast cancer they age and many other factors contribute to increased risk like never giving birth, not getting enough regular exercise, starting menopause at a later age and a person's family history.

"Women should really make sure they get their mammograms done," said Jai Marshall-Hunt, a spouse who was screened at the hospital May 22 after Cotti-Diaz called her.

Marshall-Hunt said she knows it is important perform self-exams and to get a mammogram on a regular basis.

"It is very important to get it done to make sure there are no lumps or any signs of breast cancer," Marshall-Hunt said, who had a relative die from breast cancer.

In 2008, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported there were 40,589 deaths in the U.S. attributed to breast cancer. There are several forms of breast cancer, but detecting it early is essential not falling victim to the disease.

"Education is key," Cotti-Diaz said. "The secret to treating breast cancer is knowing about it early enough. If it is found at a later date, it may be more difficult to treat."

The cancerous growth can metastasize and spread quickly through other parts of the breast and body, Cotti-Diaz said.

"It is something we don't think about every day," Marshall-Hunt said. "It is something that sneaks up on you."

Treating the growth in early stages allows for a more favorable outcome, Cotti-Diaz said, which is why the clinic arranging the date with the local hospital.

"It is basically taking care of the population." Cotti-Diaz said. "The mammograms are performed on the economy because we do not have our own facilities,"

The clinic has agreements with some specialty centers and hospitals in the area that can provide mammograms, he said. The clinic has a good relationship with the Ansbach hospital, which is where the women had their mammogram after receive a referral from the clinic staff.

Women are encouraged to have a mammograms at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center because the mammogram will be downloaded to the patient's electronic records, but some women find that option to be problematic.

"Having to go to Landstuhl is really inconvenient for a lot of us because Landstuhl is so far," Marshall-Hunt said. "Some women just can't get to the facilities in Landstuhl."

Marshall-Hunt believes getting resources at the clinic would increase awareness about getting mammograms, she said. Increasing mammogram appointments at the hospital is also something she would like to see happen.

"They did a really good thing contacting me," she said about the clinic arranging the agreement with the hospital. "I think it is good that they are reaching out to women."

Page last updated Fri May 25th, 2012 at 06:26