Breast Cancer Screening on Prince of Wales Island - P.O.W. Report

Monday, October 3, 2022

Breast Cancer Screening on Prince of Wales Island

Submitted by Mary Dinon, RN Women’s Health Nurse Case Manager, SEARHC

Did you know that you can get your annual Breast Cancer Screening right here on Prince of Wales Island? The SEARHC clinic in Klawock is equipped with a state-of-the-art 3D (Tomosynthesis} mammography machine. The 3D mammography exam provides better, earlier breast cancer detection. It finds 20-65 percent more invasive breast cancers than 2D mammography alone.

As a Women's Health Nurse Case Manager, working for SEARHC in Klawock, I am privileged to interact with many women here on Prince of Wales. Over the years, I have fielded many questions from hundreds of women about breast cancer screening.

With so much information out there, it can be difficult to know what to do. When to start screening for breast cancer continues to be a debated topic. All women need to be informed by their health care provider about the best screening options for them. When you are told about the benefits and risks of screening and decide with your health care provider whether screening is right for you and when to have it, this is called informed and shared decision-making

The following are some common facts and myths about breast cancer screening.

MYTH #1: I don’t need to get mammograms anymore because all my past mammogram exams were normal. 

FACT: Womens’ risk for breast cancer increases as we age. Most breast cancers are diagnosed after the age of 50 and 8 out of 9 women diagnosed have no family history of breast cancer. One in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, but with early detection, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent.

MYTH #2: I need to get my mammogram completed in Sitka or Anchorage because I have lumpy breasts and they always call me back for more imaging. 

FACT: The 3D mammography exam, which is now available at the SEARHC Clinic in Klawock, has been proven to reduce unnecessary callbacks by up to 40 percent.

MYTH #3: Mammograms will cause breast cancer. 

FACT: Mammograms require very small doses of radiation. The risk of harm from this radiation exposure is low, but repeated x-rays have the potential to cause cancer. Women should talk with their health care providers about the benefits vs. risks. 

MYTH #4: I must be a SEARHC patient to come for my screening mammogram in Klawock. 

FACT: Mammography exams are available for all women (usually age 40 and older) on Prince of Wales Island. Your private medical provider can fax a signed order to SEARHC in Klawock and your report will be automatically forwarded back to your medical provider. Call 907.755.4978 to schedule your mammogram.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.