by Ashley Guidry, Communications Associate
Did you know Legacy helps patients schedule their mammograms? If your answer is yes, you’re ahead of the game! If not, then you’re in luck. For this breast cancer awareness month, we‘re breaking down what you can do to get preventative treatment. Individuals who are 40 and above or have family history of breast cancer are eligible to get their mammogram done. We asked the Prevention Team Coordinators what programs Legacy has to offer for patients to get their treatment.
The Prevention Coordination team assists patients in scheduling appointments for imaging’s aka ultrasounds, MRIs, colonoscopies, and mammograms. There are two mammogram programs in particular the prevention team works diligently on. Project Valet and the Rose Legacy Day. Project Valet is a bus provided by the Rose Galleria that administers free screening mammograms at specific Legacy locations (Lyons, Santa Clara, & High Star). To qualify for the bus, you must not have active insurance and not have breast implants. Rose Legacy Day is a day scheduled only for Legacy patients to get mammograms done at the two Rose facilities. Those locations are the Rose Galleria in Bellaire and the Rose Featherwood near Pasadena. It’s preferable to have insurance for this program since you may have to pay out of pocket and the Rose accepts most insurances. It’s especially lenient towards Healthy Texas Women’s and Ryan White holders.
Mammograms & Biopsies, what even are they?
- A screening mammogram is a general x-ray picture of the breasts. Mammograms should get done annually because they are helpful to check for breast cancer early.
- A diagnostic mammogram is an x-ray done after receiving suspicious results from a screening mammogram or if your doctor notices strange signs in your breast. Although this x-ray goes in more depth than a screening, it is not invasive, you will not get any needles inserted into you.
- A breast biopsy on the other hand is completely the opposite. A sample of your breast tissue will be removed using a special biopsy needle or during surgery. This process is used to check for breast cancer as well.
If it’s been a year or more since your last mammogram, you should schedule one as soon as you can. Anyone can get breast cancer, no matter their gender and it’s always best to stay on top of your health than fall behind. For Legacy patients, contact your provider and ask them to put in a screening mammogram order for you. Once the order is in, contact a member from the Prevention Coordination team to schedule your appointment with your preferred imaging center.
If you are experiencing pain, have lumps in your breast, or discharge from your nipples, you don’t have to get a screening first. Notify your provider about your strange breast changes and they should place a diagnostic order in the system for you. After securing an appointment to your preferred location all that’s left to do is attend your scheduled date. Afterwards, wait for your provider to read your results a week or two later.
Frequent questions that prevent people from getting their mammogram done?
- Will there be pain? Many individuals turn down the idea of a mammogram due to this question’s answer, which is understandable. Since a machine is used to conduct a mammogram, it can be mildly uncomfortable, but the feeling only lasts for a short time. For biopsies, discomfort is expected during this process. But it only lasts about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Have implants? That’s fine! Depending on where you go and the type of implants you have, you’re still able to get your mammogram done.
- Does the mammogram machine cause cancer? Since the appointment is supposed to be annual, you will intake a normal amount of radiation. So no, the machine will not cause cancer, quite the opposite in fact.
- Don’t feel a lump in your chest? No presence of a lump shouldn’t be your go-to sign that you don’t have breast cancer. There are some signs of breast cancer that you can’t feel and only a mammogram can catch.
As of last year, an estimated 35% of Americans missed their routine mammogram due to Covid-related fears. The drop-in mammogram appointments could have serious consequences since early detection allows doctors to pinpoint breast cancer while it’s still treatable. Do your due diligence and schedule an appointment with your provider to get your mammogram done. Thank you to Legacy’s Prevention Coordination team in your efforts to prevent breast cancer!
If you would like to schedule an appointment with us, please visit us online or call (832) 548-5000.