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Mammography / Breast Health
Mammograms, or x-rays of the breast, find cancers or abnormalities usually too small to be felt. Mammograms can detect breast tumors in the earliest stage, when breast cancer cure rates are highest.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, excluding skin cancers. Therefore, it is important to take measures to detect breast cancer in its earliest stage.

There are three ways to detect physical symptoms of breast cancer. The first is through breast self-examinations, which should be done on a monthly basis beginning at age 20.

Second, breast examinations performed by a healthcare professional help detect lumps that may be diagnosed as breast cancer. Women aged 20 to 39 should have a clinical breast examination every three years. After age 40, women should have a breast examination by a healthcare professional every year.

The third way to detect abnormalities of the breast that may lead to breast cancer is through a mammogram. A mammogram is the single most effective way to detect abnormalities related to breast cancer, as it can identify cancer several years before physical symptoms occur. Women aged 40 and older should have a mammogram every year. Women who have had a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer are at a higher risk and should start getting mammograms at an earlier age, which should be determined by a physician.

Lakes Regional Healthcare has a full-field digital mammography system that produces clear and precise all-digital images on a computer screen, rather than images on x-ray film. Physicians can zoom in, magnify, and optimize different parts of the breast tissue. Additionally, the system provides the largest field of view currently available, which can be helpful for precision imaging of patients with various breast shapes and sizes.

Sign Up to Receive Breast Health Reminder Emails
Lakes Regional Healthcare offers breast health reminder emails. Simply click on the link below, complete the short online form, and choose which email reminder(s) you want to receive. There are two options of breast health reminder emails. The first is sent monthly and is a reminder to do a breast self-examination. This email lists the steps to performing a breast self-examination for reference. The second breast health reminder is sent annually and reminds you to schedule a mammogram. You may sign up for either or both reminders. Each time an email is received, you will have the option to stop receiving future emails.

To encourage women to take advantage of mammography’s early detection benefits, Medicare covers one mammography screening every year for women aged 65 and older. In addition, Iowa and Minnesota laws require that health insurance policies offer mammography screening reimbursement. However, since reimbursement schedules vary due to the age of the person receiving the mammogram, men and women are urged to check with their healthcare providers regarding the qualifications for reimbursement.

For more information or to schedule an appointment for a mammogram, please call Lakes Regional Healthcare at 712-336-8658.

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