Pine Belt clinics remind women about breast cancer screenings this October

In the spirit of breast cancer awareness month, clinics are encouraging women to bring their question to annual appointments.
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 6:09 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - In the spirit of breast cancer awareness month, Pine Belt health clinics are encouraging women to get their annual exams.

Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative is offering free breast screenings at all their clinic locations the week of Oct. 18-22.

Laura Singley is a nurse practitioner at the SeMRHI Women’s Clinic. She has worked in women’s health for 30 years and says it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.

“Early detection is early cure. And so even if you’re not experiencing any problems, we do recommend a clinical breast exam on an annual basis for all women,” Singly says.

Dr. Scott Keeler, MD is a Diagnostic Radiologist at Merit Health Wesley. He says even if you don’t have a family history, just being a woman means you are at risk of developing breast cancer. After all, one in every eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

“The fact is, is that any age woman can get this, the youngest I’ve seen is 17-years-old and the oldest I’ve seen is 105. What we look for when we’re looking at a mammogram, is change. It not only is what it looks like in the beginning but what it looks like next year or the following year. So that annual screening examination is the most important thing women can do for themselves,” Keeler explains.

Keeler says getting a mammogram is a non-invasive scan women should have done once a year.

Merit Health Wesley workers say, once your name is called from the waiting room, it’s only a ten-minute process to get through your mammogram scan, then you’re on your way. You’ll have results from your doctor within a week.

“I think the thing that always gets to me is when women come in and they have a large press mass, and they’ve known that, and they’ve just ignored it. Or the family’s ignored it and every other physician ignored it. And the result is, that something that might have been treatable is no longer really a treatable option. Although in today’s world, the fact of the matter is that breast cancer has become highly treatable, and the earlier you find it, the more treatable it is,” explains Keeler.

Keeler says it is essential and worth it to call your doctor and talk about getting set up with a yearly breast exam and mammogram appointment.

Singley agrees that there’s no time to waste and healthcare providers are there to help you.

“There’s no shame to come in. And as no question is dumb. Just come on in and you have one on one visit with your, your healthcare provider. And we’ll be happy to answer any questions that you have about breast cancer awareness, breast cancer prevention, or if you help you out with any other health issues, health concerns that you have,” Singly says.

Copyright 2021 WDAM. All rights reserved.