Eric Murray: Let fall be a reminder for annual mammogram | SkyHiNews.com

Eric Murray: Let fall be a reminder for annual mammogram

Eric Murray
Voice of the Hospital

Fall colors, including pink, serve as important reminders.

I love the colors of this time of year. The landscape, made up of blazing oranges, fiery reds and stunning yellows, offset by the greens and browns, are a feast for the eyes.

This fall color pallet serves as nature’s reminder that a change of season is on the horizon and that time is running out to get important things done before winter arrives.

There is another color that is seen everywhere this time of year. It too serves as a reminder, a reminder of health that is ” pink.

Solid pink has become the color representative of breast cancer awareness. Early detection is the main theme for the simple fact that so many women, (and to a lesser extent men), are able to have breast cancer treated and possibly eradicate if discovered in the early stages. When found early, the five-year survival rate is 96 percent.

Regular self-breast exams, clinical breast exams and a yearly mammogram is a good idea for early detection, particularly for women in the 40-plus age category. A mammogram can often detect cancer too small to feel.

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Organizers of grassroots efforts, designed to support the cause, abound this time of year, particularly with walks/runs such as the one happening this Sunday in Grand Lake.

“This disease has touched so many lives that almost everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with it,” said Kathy Whitman, Social Worker for Kremmling Memorial Hospital.

The funds raised from these sorts of events help in the education and prevention of breast cancer as well as research for the cure.

“I got involved with the fund raiser because I wanted to show support for a friend of mine who is a breast cancer survivor,” said Whitman who is one of many organizers of the event as well as a participant. “We wanted to organize an event so that people could participate locally and show their support of such an important cause.”

The hospital believes in making mammography accessible.

Participants in the walk/run in Grand Lake are offered a free baseline, (first ever), screening mammogram on the month of any woman’s 40th birthday. This offer is also extended to all women and is valid year-round but scheduling is limited so takers are encouraged to call the hospital radiology department and plan ahead.

It is hoped that women 40 and above become familiar with the screening so they become comfortable with the idea of having it done on a yearly basis.

Some women have made the month of their birthday the month to not only get a

yearly mammogram, but also to schedule a well woman exam on the same day. To make well-woman exams and physicals, as well as other services more accessible, a 20 percent discount is offered for services paid to those without health insurance, (payment due at the time of service).

So, as you drive through the countryside and appreciate the beautiful colors of fall, remember that pink is the color to inspire a yearly mammogram for the women in our lives.

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