EUFAULA, Ala. (WRBL) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Medical Center Barbour is using their state-of-the-art technology to catch the disease as early as possible. 

The medical center is hanging up their pink balloons and performing mammograms right in their hospital using their Aspire Cristalle 3D mammography machine. The average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 13% — the medical center is focused on finding it early, when it is easier to treat. 

“Mammograms will not work if women will not get them,” Casey Williamson, Registered Mammography Technologist with Medical Center Barbour, said.  “Get your mammogram every year, self-check at home monthly.”

The American Cancer Society has started a national campaign to encourage annual screenings after the pandemic caused appointments to dry up. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women and Margen Gadd with the American Cancer Society says skimping on screenings could be costly. 

“There’s so many things in life that we can’t control, but this we can… I just spoke with a lady, sadly, who has stage four cancer. Her doctor shared that if she came in for her screenings it may not have looked like that.”

Medical Center Barbour performs about 40 to 50 screenings per week. They’ve seen four positive breast cancer cases in the past month. The five minute screening may cause a little bit of discomfort, but it could make the difference in saving your life. 

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women who are 50 to 74 years old and are at average risk for breast cancer get a mammogram every two years. Women who are 40 to 49 years old should talk to their doctor or other health care professional about when to start and how often to get a mammogram. 

If you are diagnosed, the American Cancer Society Reach To Recovery program connects people facing breast cancer – from diagnosis through survivorship – with trained volunteers who are breast cancer survivors. The portal helps to match diagnosed patients with volunteers who have experienced a similar type of breast cancer, stage, and treatment. 

Breast cancer can affect women and men. The American Cancer Society’s “Real Men Wear Pink” initiative raises money to help fund breast cancer research, provide education, and offer patient support to diagnosed patients.

“Whether you have a history or not– man or woman, doesn’t matter anything about you… you can still get breast cancer,” Williamson said. “We all need to be aware of what to look for, how to look for it and how to report it to our doctor as soon as we see something that is not normal.”