Pioneer Memorial urges annual mammograms

Pioneer Memorial urges annual mammograms October marks the 20th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a campaign that has boosted mammograms, pushed for better treatments and saved lives.

The American Cancer Society notes that among women in the U.S., overall deaths from breast cancer dropped steadily during the 1990s. Their study attributes this improvement in survival to progress in both early detection and better treatments for the disease.

This is the primary reason Heidi Larson, PA-C, physician assistant with Pioneer Memorial Hospital & Health Services, encourages women to have annual mammograms if they are at risk or over the age of 40.

Larson offers a women's health clinic at the Centerville Medical Clinic every Tuesday morning from 9 a.m. to noon to provide an opportunity for women to receive comprehensive care for a wide variety of women's health issues.

Larson also serves the Viborg Medical Clinic and provides care to patients of all ages. She has a special interest in women's health issues and pediatrics. She received her training at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha and has seven years of experience as a certified physician assistant.

Only a fraction of women who need mammograms actually get them every year as recommended, according to a new study.

But skipping this important screening test raises a woman's chances of dying from breast cancer, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School report.

Jean Peterson, Centerville Medical Clinic manager, said, "The special Tuesday morning clinics allow area women the opportunity to schedule a timely appointment without having to wait for several weeks or months to get in for care. Those interested need only call 563-2411 for an appointment."

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