Best Defense Against Breast Cancer? Routine Mammography Screenings and Early Detection

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St. George, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 10/10/2021 -- Mixed in with all the reds, oranges and yellows of autumn, there is another color that has become synonymous with October — pink.

Pink ribbons, pink shirts and "think pink" slogans serving as a reminder to the world of National Breast Cancer Awareness month in an effort to raise awareness about a disease has the potential to impact both women – and men.

"If you have breasts, you have a risk of breast cancer," said Tracy Patrick, manager for the radiology imaging center for Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital. "Actually, men can be diagnosed with breast cancer, as well, so the risk is higher than 50 percent of the population, though fewer than one percent of cases are male."

Even with all the strides being made in cancer treatment, early detection of the disease is still key to ensuring the best possible outcome.

"Early detection is really important because the earlier you find something, the earlier you can treat it before it spreads," Patrick said. "It makes a big difference down the road in terms of what the treatment will be."

Thanks to the new women's imaging center at St. George Hospital, access to these life-saving screenings has never been more convenient.

"We now have three mammography machines in St. George, plus one in Hurricane," Patrick said. "We have everything you need under one roof, including breast biopsies, mammograms and even DEXA bone density scans. We can even provide same-day biopsies in some cases, depending on the patient's schedule."

The latter, Patrick said, has the potential to give patients increased peace of mind.

"No one wants to wait and wonder," Patrick said.

Intermountain Healthcare recommends yearly mammograms beginning at age 40, Patrick said. When followed, that recommendation has decreased the death rate from breast cancer by 40 to 50 percent over the last 30 years.

Although self-breast exams are no longer promoted the way they were in the past, Patrick said it is helpful for people to be familiar with their bodies enough that they notice any subtle changes. But even that familiarity is not enough.

"We've had some patients who didn't want to have a mammogram done, but they came with friend and they were able to find breast cancer they didn't even know was there," Patrick said. "You never know who you might be able to help by encouraging them to get their regular mammogram."

"It might seem scary or inconvenient, but it's a very short exam," Patrick continued. "You're there less than a half an hour. It goes a long way for peace of mind for the rest of the year."

To schedule a mammogram in Utah, go to Or talk to your own healthcare provider.

About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,600 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For more information, see Intermountain Healthcare or the Intermountain Healthcare Blog.

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Media Relations Contact

Lance Madigan
Media Relations
Intermountain Healthcare
Telephone: 1-801-442-3217
Email: Click to Email Lance Madigan

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