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Why Mammograms Matter

While mammograms cannot prevent breast cancer, they do help to detect breast cancer in the earliest stages. Detecting breast cancer early means it will be easier for physicians to treat. Did you know that an estimated 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime? Despite common assumptions, the large majority of women with breast cancer have no family history of the disease. Mammograms matter simply because they have the power to save lives.

It is important to schedule an annual mammogram screenings, as the majority of breast cancers are detected through this diagnostic test. Most guidelines recommend that women receive an annual screening mammogram starting at the age of 40. However, depending on your family history, your physician may recommend that you have your first mammogram earlier. At Eastside Medical Center, scheduling a mammogram screening is easy, convenient, and does not require a referral or an order from your physician. Eastside Medical Center also offers the latest technologies to detect and treat breast cancer.

“Mammograms have recently improved with 3D imaging, called Tomosynthesis,” explained Dr. Tracy McElveen, practicing radiation oncologist at Eastside Medical Center, “Eastside Medical Center has 2 TOMO units and the hospital was able to screen more than 4,000 patients this year alone utilizing this new technology. Tomosynthesis provides a clearer visualization of tumors in dense breast tissue as compared to 2D mammography. 3D mammography also reduces the patient callback rate, and results in a 41% increase in invasive cancer detection.”

In addition to the benefits mentioned above by Dr. Tracy McElveen, 3D Mammography also reduces unnecessary biopsies, minimizes anxiety and extra costs, and provides earlier detection of small cancers that may be hidden in the surrounding breast tissue. For more information on 3D mammography at Eastside Medical Center, you can visit

Earlier this year, Eastside Medical Center’s Breast and Diagnostic Imaging Center was awarded three-year/full accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). This program is administered by the American College of Surgeons and accreditation is only given to those centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of quality breast care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. A breast center that achieves NAPBC accreditation has demonstrated a firm commitment to offer its patients every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease.

“I am proud to be a part of our program and honored to serve as the Breast Program Chairman since 2012,” stated Dr. Tracy McElveen, “I want women to know that it is not necessary to travel outside of our community to receive superior breast cancer care. It is likely that you or someone you know will be diagnosed with this disease in your lifetime. During breast cancer awareness month, and every month of the year, we want to celebrate the courage and strength of our breast cancer patients and survivors. In an effort to band together as women in the fight against breast cancer, please remind your family members and friends to schedule and complete their annual mammogram each year. Remember, mammograms save lives.”

For more information on Eastside Medical Center’s Breast and Diagnostic Center, or to schedule an appointment, please call (888) 843-8133 or visit our website at