Fewer women are getting mammograms

5:11 PM, Dec 7, 2011   |    comments
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GRAY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's a scary thought for medical care providers: women nationally seem to be getting fewer mammograms.

There are a number of theories as to why that number has dropped, including the inconvenience of getting to a clinic during the week.

The group, Patient Advocates LLC, recently teamed up with Mercy Hospital to attempt to change the trend, starting with their own clients.

On October 22nd, Mercy opened it's facility for 16 clients of Patient Advocates, filling the day will mammogram screenings.  Marcia Bartholomeu, with Patient Advocates, says three of the women who came said they had never had a mammogram; that includes two women over the age of 50. 

According to the National Cancer Institute, only 66% of women over 40 get annual mammograms, down nearly 3-million from just a few years ago.

Mercy Hosptial's supervisor of mammography services, Terry Schofield, says that's in part, due to confusing guidelines.  She says the only guidelines women should pay attention to are the ones offered by the American Cancer Society... which say to get screened yearly once your 40+.  If you're in your 20s or 30s, get screened once every 3 years.

In the meantime, she says it helps to get a nudge from groups like Patient Advocates, to remind women that breast health is nothing anyone should slack on.  To help, Mercy does open for mammogram screening on Saturdays, every once in a while.  For more information about their services, click here.

Patient Advocates does plan to hold another day for mammograms through Mercy nexy October for Breast Cancer Awareness month.






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