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Mammogram saves Mishawaka woman's life

Published On: Oct 20 2010 08:26:54 AM CDT   Updated On: May 17 2013 02:50:58 PM CDT
Mammogram saves Mishawaka woman's life

MISHAWAKA - A mammogram could save your life.  The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms for women starting at age 40.

At the St. Joseph Center for Women's Health, digital mammography is used to catch breast cancer early.  They say mammograms are the best tool for detecting early breast cancer.

Deb Douglas said she is thankful she did not put off a routine mammogram last year.

“It probably saved my life,” Douglas said.

A routine mammogram at age 55 revealed she had breast cancer.

“It was really tough to not know what the outcome would be,” said Douglas.

Ruth Molnar, a registered mammographer, said detecting breast cancer early is the key to surviving, and digital mammography equipment makes detection easier.

“It's faster, it's more detailed,” said Molnar. “The radiologist can manipulate the image to magnify, to look closer, to just see the image much clearer than the old unit, which was film screen.”

Molnar said digital mammography makes the experience easier on the woman.

“The compression is not as bad as it used to be.  We used to have to thin the breast as much as we could to get a good image.  We can get a better image now with less compression,” she explained.

Molnar also said the exam is much quicker.  The little time it takes is worth it, to save your life.  After chemo and radiation, Douglas is cancer-free.

“It feels very good to have it all over with and to have it behind me,” she said.

Now she is making sure every woman she knows gets a mammogram.

“It's so important,” she said.  “If I’d missed that mammogram last year, I would not be in the shape I’m in now.”