Do more than create “awareness” of breast cancer – take action
In October, it seems like everywhere you turn, it is awash with pink to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month – ribbons spring up on vehicles and clothing, and even professional sports organizations trade in their team colors for pink. Many organizations have aided in breast cancer research, advocacy and education, and at Solis Mammography, the nation’s largest independent provider of breast imaging services, we fully respect and applaud these critical efforts in the fight against breast cancer.
While the pink movement has helped lead to a heightened awareness of breast cancer, we may be missing another important population of women. Our research shows that many women respond differently to the pink messaging. For these women, the association of the color pink reinforces fear and anxiety, and they avoid mammography screening, the very exam they need to help stay healthy.
Importance of Empowerment
Much of that stress is alleviated, however, when women are educated about their options. The pink ribbon has become synonymous with breast cancer and has provided wonderful support for those who have had breast cancer, and for their families and friends. However, we need to reach beyond the fear – the fear that we in healthcare can mitigate by providing a better experience, exceptionally accurate and fast results, less callbacks, less discomfort and easy access. Put simply, there is a difference, and when women experience that difference, they make better choices.
We want women to feel empowered when they come to Solis Mammography for their annual screening. However, in October especially, many will hear critics say that mammograms are not foolproof. And while it’s true that no screening test is perfect, mammography is the closest thing we have to a cure, and remains the gold standard for preventative breast health. And with the advent of 3D Mammography, accuracy has improved even more – research shows a 54% increase in detection and a 37% decrease in unnecessary callbacks, according to the American Journal of Roentgenology 2013.
At Solis Mammography, we understand that no one wants a mammogram – what they want is the relief and peace of mind that comes from knowing their screening was exceptionally accurate and came back clean. Seven in 8 women will not be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime – that is, 88% of women can rest easy, knowing they’ll likely get an ‘all-clear’ from their annual mammogram screening; that is peace of mind. For the 12% of women who discover an anomaly, early detection is key to a successful outcome, not just for survival but also the potential for better and less invasive treatment options.
There is no question breast cancer is a serious disease, but as with most diseases, the earlier it is detected and treatment begins, the better the outcome. In fact, with advances in medical research and treatment, the American Cancer Society states that the 5-year survival rate for women diagnosed with stage 0 or 1 breast cancer – the earliest stages – is 100%. With that in mind, one of the disappointing statistics in our industry is that almost half of American women who have health insurance (and for whom 2D mammography is covered at 100% starting at age 40) forgo their annual screening.
Broaden Your Point of View
Solis Mammography wants women to broaden their point of view and look to the month of October for national Breast Health Awareness, and dispel the fear and anxiety sometimes associated with pink and breast cancer. It is for this reason, we launched the second year of our “Rethink P.I.N.K.” campaign to encourage women to focus on breast health rather than cancer, and to get better educated about their options. Solis Mammography’s Rethink P.I.N.K. campaign, “P.I.N.K.” evolves from a color to an acronym, representing:
P = Peace of Mind
Solis Mammography’s Peace of Mind Mammogram™ demonstrates its promise to offer such an exceptional experience, women won’t avoid the mammogram they need.
I = Incredible Service
Deeply committed to patient-centric services, Solis offers online scheduling, easy tablet registration, convenient locations, compassionate care and fast results delivered by secure email within 24 to 48 hours.
N = Not What You Expect
While many women associate mammograms with pain, Solis’ breast-dedicated technologists are highly trained in compression and placement, with the result of 89 percent of our patients reporting little to no discomfort during their mammogram.
K = Knowledge is Power
Knowledge includes remembering that while 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, 7 in 8 will not. That’s 88% of women who can rest easy, knowing they’ll likely get an all clear from their screening. And for the 12 percent who discover an anomaly, the earlier they know, the better their options for treatment and positive outcomes.
Rethink P.I.N.K. is about empowerment and choice so women can take charge of their health decisions and find peace of mind. While we will never be able to alleviate all of the fear and anxiety women have when they have their annual mammogram, we can offer a different experience, thus empowering women with the knowledge they need to achieve peace of mind.
This October, we invite everyone to expand their point of view and Rethink PI.N.K. Do more than create “awareness” of breast cancer – take action. Get your mammogram, and promote breast health for you and those you love.