One in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Startling, when you really think about it. Envision eight women in your family and one of those women will develop this life-changing disease. Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women. This year alone it has been predicted that nearly 250, 000 new cases of cancer will be reported.
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, UAW-Ford has partnered with Northland Radiology to offer free mammogram screening to the uninsured and underinsured women across the metro Detroit. Mammogram screenings will be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Oct. 17 through Oct. 22 at Northland Radiology, located at 20905 Greenfield Road in Southfield.
“UAW-Ford is committed to serving our members, as well as the community at large, helping to improve overall quality of life and provide opportunities for a healthier lifestyle,” said UAW-Ford Vice President Jimmy Settles. “We are proud to once again offer free mammograms to women in metro Detroit who may otherwise not be able to receive this potentially life-saving screening.”
This is the fourth year that UAW-Ford has partnered with Northland Radiology to provide free testing to women in need.
“We are not just a for profit business, we are a member of the community, we are a steward of health for our community and everyone in our company from ownership to management to employees has been affected in some way by breast cancer,” said Milan Gandhi of Northland Radiology.
Gandhi says that early detection is key and when detected early, the breast cancer survival rate is 97 percent.
One of the biggest mistakes women make is not going to the doctor for their annual physical exam.
“Women may not feel sick, so they don’t go to the doctor. Even when they have health insurance they may not go to the doctor for two or three years and if they do go to the doctor they go for a sore throat and may not get a full physical exam. That is where healthy women are missing it. This is something we need to improve on,” said Gandhi.
“In primary care medicine, when you go to your doctor’s office, when you reach a certain age, they know to do a clinical breast exam. They do a manual exam with their hands, they look for lumps, they look for hardening areas. These are the early signs of breast cancer.”
Most doctors feel that early detection tests for breast cancer help save thousands of lives each year, and that many more lives could be saved if even more women and their health care providers took advantage of these tests. Women over the age of 40 are still encouraged to get a mammogram every year.
“Even if doctors don’t physically feel anything abnormal during the exam there can be microscopic tissue adhesions or lesions that digital equipment can detect. If it is detected there are opportunities to remove those small microscopic lumps before they become something bigger. That is when healthcare works.”
Technology has improved dramatically and with early detection lives are being saved. “The treatments, detection and the overall outcomes were nowhere near where they are today. My Aunt died very young, because she was not able to catch the cancer until it too late and the treatments just weren’t there. Today with early detection we have almost a perfect rate, almost everybody is able to survive and live onward.”
To schedule a confidential screening, attendees must make an appointment by calling 313-392-7398. Results will be mailed, and will include a referral center in the event of detection.