The importance of Breast Cancer Awareness after October

Female doctor and a patient standing in front of a breast tomosynthesis machine in a hospital
Female doctor and a patient standing in front of a breast tomosynthesis machine in a hospital(Antonio Diaz | Antonio Diaz)
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 8:34 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - As ads filled with pink transition to holiday colors, breast cancer’s impact can still be felt every day.

Breast Cancer Awareness month has come and gone but the importance of early detection and regular screenings should be kept in mind all year round.

That’s why the Women’s Imaging Center at Southeast Health in Dothan encourages women not to skip a mammogram.

Norlishia Miller has spent 24 years as an X-ray technician and currently works at Southeast Health in Dothan.

Miller explained the difference between a traditional mammogram and the 3D technology they have over at Southeast.

“With 3D, the mammogram machine is pretty much doing all the work. The positioning is the same as far as a regular mammogram but the image is captured at different angles,” she said.

The different angles work to produce “slices” of the breast which gives radiologists a more detailed image.

More detailed images help lead to early detection, which Miller said is extremely important. With cancer cases, you want to catch them at their earliest stages to get a head start on treatment.

“Having your mammogram every year and not skipping years is very important,” Miller said.

Getting a mammogram, especially if it’s your first time, can be a bit intimidating. Miller stressed that the procedure is easy.

“It’s a quick procedure that could save your life. It’s really easy, in and out in probably 20 to 30 minutes,” she said. “Most of my patients, they’ll come and they’re scared to death their first mammogram but after the procedure is over they’re like ‘oh my god that was so easy.’”

There are also things you can do in between your mammograms.

“Make sure that you’re examining your breasts once a month. By doing that you’ll know if there’s anything that has changed, like a lump or nipple discharge, you’ll know what feels normal to you and what doesn’t,” Miller said.

Southeast Health makes scheduling your mammogram easy. You can schedule online at this link.

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