No Provider Order Needed to Schedule Mammograms

Women can get breast cancer screening Monday through Friday at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center. Many women are eligible for free screening thanks to funds from the Whidbey Island Chapters of Soroptimists International. Call and schedule your mammogram today at 360.678.7607.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Are you due for a mammogram? Has it been a few years? Self-referred screenings are now available, which means you don't need a doctor's order to schedule one. Here are a few guidelines offered by the American Cancer Society:

These guidelines are for women at average risk for breast cancer. For screening purposes, a woman is considered to be at average risk if she doesn’t have a personal history of breast cancer, a strong family history of breast cancer, or a genetic mutation known to increase risk of breast cancer (such as in a BRCA gene), and has not had chest radiation therapy before the age of 30. 

Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.

Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.

Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms. Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.

All women should understand what to expect when getting a mammogram for breast cancer screening – what the test can and cannot do.

Among women in the US, an estimated 252,710 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2017, and 40,610 deaths will occur. Approximately six out of every 10 cases are diagnosed at the localized stage; the five-year survival rate for these cases is 99 percent. Overall, female breast cancer death rates have been declining since 1989 in the US, in part, due to early detection by mammography screening and treatment.

Source: American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2017-2018. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, Inc. 2017.

Breast Cancer Facts:

  • One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.
  • Each year it is estimated that over 252,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,500 will die.
  • Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,470 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 460 will die each year.
  • On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and 1 woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes.
  • Over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today. 

Source: National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.