COUNCIL BLUFFS — Mother's Day is coming up, and officials at Jennie Edmundson Hospital urge area residents to show their mothers they care by reminding them to get a mammogram.
It's one way to tell them to take care of themselves, said Tara Slevin, director of development and volunteer services at Jennie.
“It's a great idea,” added Dr. Annabel Galva, a radiologist.
Jennie Edmundson has been awarded a $90,000 Susan G. Komen for the Cure grant to help fund an outreach to surrounding cities and counties, Slevin said. The efforts will reach Adair, Adams, Audubon, Cass, Mills and Pottawattamie Counties.
“The majority of these dollars will go to provide mammograms for people who can't afford it,” she said.
Staff members are working with health care professionals in those counties to set up free screenings and to make themselves available to give educational presentations, said Clodagh Slevin, outreach coordinator.
The hospital extended its reach last year after receiving the same kind of grant from Komen, said Donna Hubbell, vice president of patient safety and quality.
Women should start getting annual mammograms at age 40 — younger, if their mother or sister has had breast cancer, Galva said.
And if women have noticed a lump during a self-exam, they should tell their health care professional, she said. That would change their mammogram from a routine screening to a diagnostic test, which might mean taking images from different views and perhaps following up with an ultrasound.
“You are your best friend,” she said. “You memorize what's normal for your breast. Your doctor is going to have a hard time doing that seeing you once a year.”