Dr. Michael Wright, radiologist, has been noticing that some women are not having annual mammograms and wanted to take advantage of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to encourage them to reconsider.
Dr. Wright, whose main office is at Hays Medical Center, visits the imaging department at St. Rose Health Center on a regular basis.
He speculates that some women over age 40 are not having the exam every year because they are constantly bombarded with contradictory information.
While he understands the conflicting reports may be confusing, he encouraged women to consider advice from the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging. Their advice is to get an annual mammogram beginning at age 40.
“The guidelines of both these respected organizations are clear,” he said. “Unfortunately, people who spread false information through the media can influence patients’ decisions.
“A mammogram is simply the best tool we have for early detection,” he added. “If we can find breast cancer early, there are many successful treatment options that are less invasive than surgery. In some cases, surgery may not be required if it is caught early enough.”
Women in central Kansas have the benefit of state-of-the-art digital mammography and diagnostic breast ultrasound at St. Rose, Dr. Wright noted.
“The screenings and diagnostic evaluations at St. Rose are extremely helpful to central Kansas residents,” he said. “When patients do require more advanced evaluation and/or intervention, HaysMed has the Breast Care Center. It provides breast MRI, advanced ultrasound and 3-D mammography.
“In addition, the breast center offers genetic testing and consultation with surgical and therapeutic specialists,” he continued. “HaysMed also provides a nurse navigator who guides patients every step of the way.”
Mammography also is a valuable tool for detecting benign breast diseases, the radiologist noted. These include cysts, fibrocystic disease, fibroadenomas and lymph-node conditions.
“There is another factor to consider when deciding to get a yearly mammogram,” Dr. Wright pointed out. “Patients who receive a good report following the exam will have peace of mind, and that is a wonderful thing.”
St. Rose specializes in primary care, prevention and wellness. Services include St. Rose Family Medicine, Convenient Care Walk-in Clinic, Great Bend Internists, Imaging, Cardiac Rehab, Physical Therapy, Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice and a comprehensive Specialty Clinic. St. Rose is co-owned by Hays Medical Center and Centura Health.