Its October first and officially the start of Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Illuminated in pink, Desert Regional’s Comprehensive Cancer Center is kicking off the month stressing just how important it is to get an annual mammogram.
“We want women in getting their first mammogram by 35. After 40 every year we want you in to get your mammogram. And again, we’re talking about a procedure that takes less than 10 minutes,” said Dr. Judy Jackson, radiation oncologist, Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Joline Abrahams showed News Channel 3 the machine typically used during a mammogram. A pathologist and breast cancer survivor herself, she says early detection with a mammogram is often the difference between life and death. “Because of this 3D mammogram I was detected, I was treated and by the end of 2012 I was cancer free,” she said. She added the exam is quick and painless.
Each week in october the cancer center has “Mammo Mondays” with extended hours — seeing patients from 8:30 am to 6pm and giving each one a pink goody bag.
The center also offers supportive care for women currently battling the disease. Dr. Jackson showed News Channel 3’s Madison Weil the “Wig Boutique,” a room where women who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy can select a wig and get a makeover free of charge.
“Losing their hair is one of the most critical side effects for our patients. They come in and they change it up and they’re like I can be a brunette I can be a red head…it gives them confidence,” said Dr. Jackson.
She added that mental and emotional support is an indispensable asset in the fight against cancer.
“To feel like you’re being cared for and loved by your family…is incredible,” said Dr. Abrahams.