By Patricia Mitchell, Winn Army Community HospitalJuly 16, 2009
FORT STEWART, GA-- Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women ages 40-55. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to surviving breast cancer. To emphasize the importance of annual breast cancer screening, Winn Army Community Hospital now offers annual mammography without a health care provider's order. To be eligible for this program, one must be a Fort Stewart beneficiary enrolled in TRICARE Prime at Winn Army Community Hospital, Tuttle Army Health Clinic or Hawks Troop Medical Clinic, be age 40 or older and not have any breast symptoms, new breast lumps or suspicious changes in your breast.
The American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology recommend an annual mammogram and a clinical breast exam in all women beginning at age 40 to screen for breast cancer. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. This test may find tumors that are too small to feel. The doctor will carefully feel the breasts and under the arms for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.
It is important to know how your breasts usually look and feel. If you feel any lumps or notice any other changes, talk to your health care provider.
Please call Winn Radiology at 435-5886 between 1-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday to schedule your mammogram. You will be asked a short series of questions to determine if you are eligible for the self-referral program and if eligible, will be scheduled in the next available mammogram appointment.
A small percentage of cancers are not found by mammogram. These cancers are identified by changes in your breast that can only be identified by a breast exam. After your mammogram is complete, you will be directed to schedule an appointment in your Primary Care clinic for follow-up to complete your clinical exam.
Please take care of your health. The earlier breast cancer is discovered, the greater a woman's chance for survival.