October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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YAKIMA, WA- Each year about 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. In Yakima, nearly 350 women get diagnosed each year with a form of breast cancer. It's one of the most common cancer amongst women world wide. According to specialist at 'Ohana, Virginia Mason Memorial's Mammography center, women should be monitoring their breast health each month with self exams. In addition to self-checks, regular mammogram exams are key to prevention.

Unique to the Yakima Valley, 'Ohana offers 3-D mammograms called tomosynthesis. Digital tomosynthesis creates 3-D pictures of the breast. Compared to a regular mammogram, Tomo reduces false positives and callbacks. "Instead of having all the tissue on top of each other with a digital 2-D mammogram, it takes pictures in "slices" of the breast which creates clearer pictures similar to a CT-scan," says  Nancy Roehr, 'Ohana senior manager.

As for what age women should start getting mammograms? Roehr tells us the answer you may hear vary. Women under 30, its best to start with an ultrasound if any lumps are felt on the breast. "Because younger women have such dense breasts, its harder to see through them. However with Tomo technology you are able to see through them if a questionable lump arises," says Roehr. After your 30's, it depends on risk factors and its best to have a conversation with your doctor as to how often you need to have a mammogram. Mammograms normally take about 15-30 minutes. 

In addition to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 'Ohana has walk-in Fridays every week. From 2:30pm-5pm women can walk in to their clinic and get a mammogram. 'Ohana also does group mammogram events and can host groups of women to get mammograms done all at once in a fun, friendly, and supportive environment. Participants must be at least 40 years of age and have a primary care physician. For more information call 'Ohana at 509-574-3860.

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