by Penrad Imaging October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Mark your calendars and schedule your mammogram this month--especially if you are over 40 or haven’t had one in over a year. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women and is fatal to more than 600 Colorado women each year. Early detection is key: women who receive an early diagnosis have better survival rates. Too many women neglect to have a yearly mammogram, either because they forget, they feel that it’s too much of a hassle, or they are fearful. For instance, Eva, who is 58, hadn’t had a mammogram in a decade; the exams bothered her. The last time she had a mammogram it resulted in subsequent anxious weeks of additional testing. She’d been given a clean bill of health, but had avoided her follow-ups. When her new healthcare provider sent her a referral to PENRAD Imaging for a screening mammogram, she spoke to a friendly scheduler and Eva put the exam date on her calendar. PENRAD Imaging, which is designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, has 6 locations throughout Colorado Springs, 4 of which provide mammography services. Eva arrived at the Sisters Grove Pavilion location, located on the campus of St. Francis Medical Center, admired the view of the snow-capped front-range, and found herself one of the first patients of the day. She was checked-in and registered for her exam. The registrar asked about her history and noted her anxiety of long waits for results. Five minutes later she was preparing for her exam inside the mammography room, with one of PENRAD Imaging’s knowledgeable and experienced technologists. The mammography technologist was gentle and kind, the procedure took less than 15 minutes, and then Eva was out the door. Later that day, her primary care doctor called. The mammogram was ambiguous and additional imaging in the form of a diagnostic mammogram was recommended. Anxiety began to seep in, but before she could even put down the phone, Eva was alerted to an incoming call from PENRAD Imaging. They had a follow-up appointment the next morning. Was she free that day? Yes. She was free. No waiting this time. The next day Eva met with the same technologist who performed her exam the day before. “Can you wait five minutes?” the technologist asked Eva after her images had been performed. Eva nodded and pulled her gown closer against the air-conditioning and prepared for an anxious wait. There was no need. Within minutes, she heard a knock on the door, and the technologist appeared. “The radiologist says it looks good,” she said with a smile. “We just had to take a second look,” she said pointing out the area of lighter color that had been a cause for concern. “See you next year.” Eva made her next annual mammogram appointment the same day. It felt great knowing she was taking good care of herself. With PENRAD Imaging’s convenient locations throughout the Colorado Springs region, taking care of yourself is easy.