October is breast cancer awareness month; a good time to think about scheduling your annual mammogram.
The simple scan could help save your life.
"Why not do something that you can catch early? The best way to do that is with mammography," said Dr. Eugene Glavin, a radiologist with Good Samaritan Health System, where there is an entire department dedicated to mammograms.
"Many things are not palpable or not necessarily seen or even people don't have a family history. So those people are still at risk," said Glavin.
Despite recent reports that say women should start getting mammograms at 50 years-old and again every two years, the American Cancer Society recommends that women 40 and older have a mammogram every year.
"I can show you two images that I saved that will show you nothing there last year and something brand new this year. Those are often problematic and need to be addressed," said Glavin.
Glavin said ever since doctors started using mammography machines, there has been a 30 percent decrease in mortality. That is because the machines can detect masses that are only millimeters big.
The procedure itself only lasts 10 to 15 minutes and is covered by most health insurance policies. Doctors at Good Samaritan Health System said there is no reason to not get screened.
"The smaller things are or the things that we catch at the earliest stages, the chance for a cure rises dramatically," Glavin said. "What we do isn't just for the woman themselves. It's for all those that woman touches, looks after, cares for, etc."
According to the American Cancer Society, about one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.