Early Detection is Everything - Schedule Your Mammogram

Kathy McNulty, GRMC Radiology Mammography Technologist

Grinnell, IA – October 1, 2020 – During the month of October, individuals and groups alike bring awareness to breast cancer by wearing pink. Breast cancer awareness is a cause that brings people together because many individuals know someone who has – or had – this type of cancer. October shines a light on the importance of getting an annual mammogram.

Schedule Your Mammogram at GRMC

Receiving a mammogram for the first time can be a little nerve-racking. Kathy McNulty, a UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) Radiology Mammography Technologist says, “In my experience, the two biggest reasons women avoid getting a mammogram are fear of breast compression and the fact that we are looking for abnormalities.” McNulty shares four tips to ease the minds of women who are receiving a mammogram for the first time. Her tips include:

  1. Let the mammography technologist know that it is your first mammogram. Your technologist will walk you through start to finish and make sure you feel comfortable at all stages of the exam.

  2. Mammograms shouldn't be painful but can cause discomfort. Don’t let the fear of discomfort stop you from having a mammogram.

  3. Breasts come in all shapes and sizes. There’s no need to feel self-conscious during your appointment.

  4. Early detection is everything. Don’t let apprehension delay your screening.

Annual mammograms are designed to detect and diagnose breast cancer in its earliest stages. Since breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in women, understanding the need for mammography is the first step to taking charge of your breast health. Mammography allows for early detection of breast irregularities such as lumps, thickening or suspicious tissues that may not otherwise be identified.

It's important to discuss with your doctor when you should begin having regular mammograms. Many breast health experts recommend annual screenings at age 40 – or possibly earlier for higher-risk patients.

GRMC is proud to be recognized as a certified Pink Ribbon Facility. Our digital 3-D mammography is the best screening tool for breast cancer available. Schedule your annual mammogram today by calling (515) 241-6111.