In an initiative to get the conversation going about breast cancer and screening. Locally, Faith Community Hospital is joining the campaign by getting the conversation going here at home.

Until researchers find a way to stop breast cancer, it is up to us as a community to raise awareness and discuss the importance of mammograms and other breast cancer screening methods. Having access to mammography services year-round here at Faith Community Hospital is quite a blessing. Many rural communities in Texas do not have access to a permanent scanner in their community, so we are very fortunate to have this convenience.

Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that develops from breast tissue. Aside from early detection through screenings such as mammograms, the first noticeable symptom is typically a lump seen or felt in or around the breast.

The American Cancer Society recommends women between the ages of 40 and 44 should have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year. Women ages 45 to 54 should get a mammogram annually. Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year or choose to maintain an annual screening.

Although there are many popular initiatives year-round to raise awareness of breast cancer, many women still do not follow recommended screening measures.

The Texas Department of State Health Services estimates that approximately 33.6 percent of women in Texas over the age of 40 have not had a mammogram within the past two years. In 2018, the state estimates 3,143 women will die in Texas because of breast cancer.

Too often women go through life without being screened for breast cancer.  By the time it is discovered, it has already elevated to an advanced stage. Making time to schedule a mammogram is one of the most important things you can do each year.

Medicare, Medicaid, and most private health plans cover all or part of the cost of breast cancer screenings. Women are urged to check with their medical insurance providers to learn more about coverage, but they should not delay having these important screenings.

For more information about mammograms and other types of cancer screenings, talk with your primary care provider or call the Faith Community Hospital radiology department at 940-216-2264.