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Mammograms are key to early detection

By Karen Darr • Sep 17, 2018 at 9:00 AM

According to the 2017 Huron County Health Assessment, only 45 percent of Huron County females over the age of 40 had a mammogram in 2017.

Mammograms help save thousands of lives each year by detecting breast cancer early, when it’s most treatable.

The American Cancer Society’s guidelines recommend beginning them at age 45, or at 40 if the patient chooses. The ACS recommends getting them annually until age 54 — and then every two years after that.

However, at Fisher-Titus, we follow the guidelines of organizations such as the American College of Radiology, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, which all recommend annual mammography beginning at age 40.

For women with a higher risk of breast cancer, standard guidelines don’t apply. Doctors agree that for high-risk women screenings should start at age 40 — or even earlier. Risk factors include having a family history of the breast cancer or a BRCA gene mutation.


Early Detection is Key

Breast cancer can develop any time, and the earliest way to detect it is through yearly mammograms. There have been cases where a woman had a normal mammogram result one year, and then the following year, breast cancer was detected. The longer the period of time between screenings, the more time the cancer has to grow, making it harder to treat once it is found. If you feel you are due for a mammogram, be sure to bring it up with your gynecologist or family doctor to get their recommendation.

Fisher-Titus provides area women 3-D digital mammography for routine screenings and Breast MRI for further diagnostics. We always strive to be on the cutting edge of technology. This type of mammogram can detect 41 percent more invasive breast cancers and detect cancer 15 months earlier.


Free Screening Mammograms for Uninsured and Underinsured Individuals

Mammogram costs vary by insurance provider, which may be a deterrent to women considering getting the screening annually. Help is here. Thanks to the funds raised for the Fisher-Titus Mammography Fund and to a generous grant from the Northwest Ohio Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Fund for the Cure, Fisher-Titus is able to provide free screenings to area women that qualify. The next free screening mammograms programs for uninsured and underinsured individuals from 7-10 a.m. Saturday Oct. 13. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 419-660-2646. This event is funded by Northwest Ohio Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure through the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio, in partnership with Fisher-Titus Medical Center

In addition, Fisher-Titus offers the Mammography Fund to those who qualify financially to ensure they get the care they need without it being a financial burden. The fund provides mammogram screenings for uninsured and under-insured women in the community. In addition, the program may include travel expenses for women in Fisher-Titus Medical Center’s service area to and from the mammography appointment if needed and the radiologist fee for reading the mammogram. To learn more about the Fisher-Titus Medical Center Mammography Fund, call our Financial Services at 419-668-8101, Ext. 6278 or 800-589-3862, Ext. 6278. The financial counselors work with applicants to determine eligibility and possible access to other resources for women.


Karen Darr has been the Director of Imaging Services at Fisher-Titus Medical Center since 2010. She has more than 30 years of experience in Radiology/Imaging.

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