Early detection, regular check-ups key to fighting breast cancer

By Mrs. Brandy Gill (Army Medicine)September 26, 2011

Technician prepares patient for mammogram
Teresa Robitaille, CRDAMC mammography technician, prepares a patient for a mammogram. Active duty service members, retirees and military dependents are all eligible to receive mammograms at Darnall, and most can be scheduled for a same-day appointmen... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Brandy Gill

CRDAMC Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas -- For years women and men have united under a pink-ribboned campaign to fight breast cancer, but despite miles walked, yogurt tabs saved or monetary donations made approximately 40,000 people in the United States still die annually from breast cancer.

Many think breast cancer is only a concern for older women who have passed their reproductive years and in general that is true, but breast cancer can strike young women and occasionally men too.

According to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure website there will be an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer in 2011. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Nearly 1.4 million new cases of breast cancer occurred among women worldwide in 2008 (most recent data available).

Early detection is key to fighting breast cancer, Corita Thomas, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center lead mammography technologist said.

"Mammography along with monthly self breast exams and annual breast exams by a healthcare provider can help detect breast cancer at an early stage," she said. "Women should have their first mammogram at age 35 to set a baseline, and they should start having annual screening mammograms starting at age 40. If a patient has a first degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with a history of breast cancer, she should start her screening mammogram 10 years prior to the age her relative was diagnosed."

Thomas said in most cases the Darnall mammography department can schedule a routine annual mammogram on a same-day basis.

"Active duty service members, retirees and military dependents are eligible for mammography services at CRDAMC regardless of where they receive primary care or their branch of service," she said. "Anyone with a valid Military ID can be screened at our facility as long as they have an order from their primary care provider or civilian physician."

The Mammography Section is located in the Radiology Department on the 1st floor of the hospital. It is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and closed for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. You can contact them directly at 254-288-8332.

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Related Links:

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Center for Disease Control

Breast Cancer Awareness facebook