October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. St. Francis Hospital will host its annual “Mammos-Til-Midnight” event next weekend, October 26th, to make more people realize how important it is to get checked.
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in females,” says St. Francis Hospital OBGYN Dr. Patrick Cleeton.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 260,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 41,000 will die from the disease this year.
“Risk increases as you get older,” says Dr. Cleeton.
Those are just some of the reasons Dr. Cleeton says mammograms are imperative in detecting breast cancer. It’s recommended that women start getting annual mammograms when they turn 40, and sooner, if they have a family history of breast cancer.
“Some big strides have been made in terms of improving the survivability and mortality of breast cancer. Part of that is screening. And a big part of screening is mammograms,” says Dr. Cleeton.
Technology has drastically improved over the years. Mammograms only take about 5 to 10 minutes.
Self-breast exams at home are also important to help identify areas that may need to be tested or examined by a doctor.
“Mammograms, they’re not as painful as they used to be. It’s not a big deal. It’s a quick procedure. It’s a low image X-Ray that gets an image of the breast, so they can see if there’s any abnormal tissue there,” says Dr. Cleeton.
St. Francis Hospital is trying to make mammograms a more pleasant experience for women. It’s hosting “Mammos Til Midnight” on October 26th.
“It’s supposed to be a fun event to make this even less painful and more enjoyable,” says Dr. Cleeton.
The event will be held at both St. Francis hospital locations in east Memphis and Bartlett from 5:00 p.m. until midnight.
“We encourage women to make it a ladies’ night and bring your friends. We have wine and hors d’oeuvres,” says Dr. Cleeton.
And don’t forget, Local 24 is once again the proud media sponsor of this year’s “American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K” walk, which will be held at AutoZone Liberty Bowl Stadium at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, October 21st. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m.