Chattanooga,Tenn.– In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Erlanger wants to remind women that it is never too late to schedule a mammogram. 

“Studies have shown fewer women are getting their mammograms,” said Janet Kramer, Erlanger’s Breast Health Navigator.  “This simple test can really safe a life.  It’s important for women to stop putting it off.”

According to the American Cancer Society, other than lifestyle changes, the most important action a woman can take is to follow early detection guidelines. Early detection will not prevent breast cancer, but it can help find cancers when the likelihood of successful treatment is greatest.  Women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health.

Women at risk for breast cancer should especially be seen by a physician and have an annual mammograms.  Risk factors include age, hereditary breast cancer by inheriting a mutation of a gene, family history of breast cancer, personal history of breast cancer that can lead to recurring cancer, dense breast tissue, benign breast conditions, alcohol use, overweight or obese and hormone therapy.  Having risk factors does not mean a woman will get breast cancer and some women who develop breast cancer may not have any apparent risk factors at all.

“That is why it is extremely important for all women to be screened at the appropriate time in their life or by recommendation of their physician,” added Kramer.

Erlanger offers digital mammography at four imaging centers: Erlanger Baroness (downtown on 3rd Street), Erlanger East (Gunbarrel Road), Erlanger North (Morrison Springs Road) and Erlanger Bledsoe (Wheelertown Avenue).  Digital mammography is very similar to the standard mammography in that it uses x-rays to produce the image.  However, the images are stored in the computer for convenient access for the radiologists and physicians.  The brightness, contrast and size of the images are then adjusted to see more areas clearly.  The images can also be sent electronically to other locations and specialists.

Erlanger Bledsoe offers mammograms Mondays through Wednesdays 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., Fridays 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. and Thursdays extended hours through November from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.  To schedule an appointment, please call 423-447-5311.

Erlanger Baroness mammogram imaging is available Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.  Erlanger North hours are Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.  Erlanger East offers screening Mondays through Fridays 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.  To schedule an appointment for the Baroness, North and East campuses, please call 423-778-MAMO (6266).