Breast cancer health care providers raise patient awareness, encourage women to get screened

About one in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Thankfully with advances in technology, like screening mammography, breast cancer can be caught at its earliest, most treatable stage.

However, many women delayed or skipped their annual mammograms due to COVID-19. This has led to breast cancers being caught in later, more advanced stages.

To raise awareness of this health concern, the physicians, nurses and employees from the MemorialCare Breast Center at Long Beach Medical Center gathered to create a giant human breast cancer awareness ribbon.

“Studies have shown that screening mammography can decrease the morality from breast cancer by more than 30 percent,” says Angela Sie, M.D., medical director, breast imaging, MemorialCare Breast Center, Long Beach Medical Center. “If you have been putting off your screening mammogram, or know someone who has, encourage them to make an appointment. We’re here to help women through every step of the mammography process, and if needed their cancer journey.”

Long Beach Medical Center patient, Kristy Masterson, shared her experience on the value of annual screenings. Since she had a family history of cancer, during her annual mammogram, she was advised to get an MRI mammogram, which is designed specifically for breast imaging. A breast MRI provides detailed images of the breast tissue using a magnetic field and radio waves instead of the standard x-rays. This detailed MRI imaging, helped catch Kristy’s breast cancer early at Stage 2.

“Because the MemorialCare Breast Center knew I was high-risk for cancer, they provided the right screening and care to be able to catch my breast cancer early,” said Masterson. “I’m thankful for Dr. Rayhanabad and the whole Breast Center team. Now, five years later I’m able to see my two daughters grow up, go to college, and have more time with my husband, friends, and family.”

Every mammogram at the MemorialCare Breast Center is read by a team of all female, sub-specialized, dedicated breast radiologists, who focus only on breast care. Research has shown that this focus and experience results in a higher quality, more accurate mammogram.

If a cancer is detected, the MemorialCare Breast Center also offers the latest treatments that not only increase survival but improve the patient experience and cosmetic outcomes.

“We know that every woman is different, and there is no one solution to fit all needs. That’s why together, with our patients, we select a personalized treatment plan to provide them with the best possible outcome,” says Jessica Rayhanabad, M.D., medical director, breast surgery, MemorialCare Breast Center, Long Beach Medical Center.

To schedule a mammogram at the MemorialCare Breast Center, women can visit memorialcare.org/BreastCare.

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