Reminder planned for air show: Schedule breast cancer screenings

Caregivers from St. Mary’s Breast Care Center will hand out pink carnations and sign women up for breast cancer screenings as part of an effort planned for the Grand Junction Air Show Oct. 14 and 15.

“We know all eyes will be on the skies that weekend. Amid the celebration, we wanted to provide a gentle reminder for women to take the key step of scheduling a screening mammogram,” said Erica Kinsey, manager of radiation oncology and the breast care center. “We want women to be healthy so they can be there for the people they care about and those who rely on them.”

Intermountain Health, which operates St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, is among the sponsors of the air show.

Women who receive their annual mammogram at St. Mary’s Breast Care Center also will benefit from new technology. The center recently introduced the Hologic 3Dimensions mammography unit. The unit uses artificial intelligence detection technology to identify characteristics commonly associated with cancer and marks the images for more thorough evaluation by radiologists. The program also provides a score to indicate how confident that area could be cancerous.

In addition to identifying potential cancer, the software provides information that helps the team of physicians prioritize their work, knowing which mammograms need immediate attention and which could take more time to review.

Additional improvements with the new unit include the ability to produce higher resolution images and complete a scan in less time, decreasing the time the breast is compressed and increasing comfort for patients.

In the United States, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. Survival rates have increased dramatically in recent decades thanks to increases in annual screenings. To schedule a screening, call (970) 298-6900 or visit www.stmarysgj.org/mammo.