Monday, October 15, 2018

HEALTHIER YOU: Knowing your girls

September 23, 2018 by  
Filed under Feature, Health

Knowing your girls

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

DR. ANNETTE MAYE

On Oct. 6 at 8 a.m., African American women will gather outside my offices to decorate our cars in pink and black, and drive them down the Las Vegas Strip and around town in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Las Vegas Caravan for Mammogram 2018 is a free event for women to participate — and decorations will be provided. Please call 702-615-8216 for entry forms, or you can come to my Las Vegas All Women Care offices (700 Shadow Lane, No. 165) to pick up your participation forms to sign and leave at my office.

I want to focus on the process of “Knowing Your Girls,” and understanding what mammograms are. Mammography uses X-rays to make images of the breast, and can help detect cancer early — when the chances of survival are highest. That’s why it’s often used as a screening test. It can also be used as a follow-up test (called a diagnostic mammogram) if you or your doctor notice a change in your breast — or if there’s something unusual on your screening mammogram.

If it’s time for you to get a screening mammogram, you may want to ask around to see if a friend or relative needs one, too. It might be nice to go together. Whether you go solo or with company, here’s what to expect: If you’ve never had a mammogram before, knowing what to expect can smooth the process and ease anxiety. Start by talking to your doctor about any questions you have. You can also talk to your technologist (the person who does the mammogram) about your concerns when you’re at the appointment. If you’ve noticed a change in your breast or underarm area — even if you’re not sure if it’s something to worry about — mention it to your doctor.

Mammograms show abnormalities in the breast that may or may not be cancerous. Some people find getting mammograms uncomfortable; others less so. You should get a mammogram if your ever see a change in your breast. That is the right time to talk to your doctor about getting a mammogram.

It is important to know that your doctor can refer you to a radiology or imaging center to get a mammogram. You can also get a mammogram from mammography clinics, hospital radiology departments, mobile vans, and some physician offices.

I hope you all join me for the Las Vegas Caravan for Mammogram — a gathering of sisters that will promote good breast health practices. Studies show that black women are the first to die from breast cancer, and we must do better to take care of ourselves and our fellow sisters.

For additional information, contact the Las Vegas All Women’s Care Offices at (702)522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane No. 165 (1st floor) in Las Vegas.

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