Through the month of October, Intermountain Health’s Breast Care Center at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray will have appointments available every Saturday. The center is hoping this option will help women who are busy during the week, giving more options and flexibility in scheduling an important and potentially life-saving 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 the 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.”
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 an increase in annual mammography screenings, however, Utah continues to rank near the bottom of the nation for the number of women who get their annual screening.
Experts say women from 45 to 54 years old should screen for breast cancer annually with some women starting to screen annually as early as age 40. Those 55 and older can continue screening every year or switch to every two years, according to the American Cancer Society.
In addition to Saturday screenings, Intermountain is expanding the FAST MRI breast screenings at Intermountain Murray to hospitals in Utah including McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, American Fork Hospital, and Park City Hospital. FAST MRI is scheduled to be available at Logan Regional Hospital by the end of this year.
The advanced screening is for women considered to be at higher risk for developing breast cancer and can be a vital tool for early detection. Patients take a survey before their mammogram to determine if they are at a higher risk for developing breast cancer. Factors used to determine risk are family medical history, density of breast tissue, and genealogy.
Women who score 20 or higher on their assessment are considered to be at high risk for developing 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. Women considered to be at high risk for breast cancer may have the MRI covered by certain insurance plans. Doctors remind patients that breast MRI scans won’t replace the need for an annual mammogram because those screenings can still detect some cancers better.
To schedule a screening, call 801-507-7840, or visit intermountainhealthcare.org/mammogram
For patients concerned about the cost of a mammogram, look into this Center for Disease Control (CDC) resource.