MURRAY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – When life gets busy and people are focused on what’s happening in front of them, they can forget to schedule needed medical appointments. For women this includes sometimes skipping their annual mammogram.
To help relieve this problem, Intermountain Health’s Breast Care Center in Murray, at Intermountain Medical Center, is opening for mammogram screenings every Saturday in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The Saturday appointment option is aimed at helping women who are busy during the week, giving them more options, time and flexibility to schedule and receive this important screening.
“We understand women in our community get busy taking care of day-to-day life and we don’t want them to go without this vital screening,” said Eugene Kim, MD, medical director of Intermountain Health Breast Care Center. “We want women to be healthy so they can be there for the people they care about and those who rely on them.”
Women who receive their annual mammogram at Intermountain Health will also have additional resources in determining their risk of developing breast cancer in the future.
Patients take a survey before their mammogram with the hope of determining possible increased risks based on several factors. Those women who are deemed to have increased risks may benefit from additional screenings.
The Tyrer-Cuzick questionnaire is a risk assessment calculator that measures a woman’s 10-year and lifetime risk for developing breast cancer based on family medical history, density of breast tissue, and genealogy.
“In the past we mostly used family history to determine risk, but now we have a host of different data points to more accurately measure a woman’s overall risk of breast cancer,” said Dr. Kim. “This is another tool we have to help women catch breast cancer early and increase survival rates.”
Women who score a 20 or higher on their assessment are considered to be at high risk for breast cancer. It also makes them eligible for a FAST MRI breast scan, which is more sensitive and better at detecting issues in the breast tissue.
FAST MRI only takes 10 minutes and costs considerably less than a traditional MRI screening. This year, the service has expanded from Intermountain Medical Center to include Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Intermountain American Fork Hospital, and Intermountain Park City Hospital. FAST MRI is scheduled to be available at Intermountain Logan Regional Hospital by the end of this year.
Doctors say breast MRI scans won’t replace the need for an annual mammogram because those screenings can still detect some cancers better.
In the United States, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Survival rates have increased dramatically in recent decades thanks to increase in annual screenings.
To schedule a screening, call 801-507-7840, or visit intermountainhealthcare.org/mammogram
To see some questions from the Intermountain questionnaire, click here.
Sponsored by Intermountain Health.