DANVILLE — A study funded by the American Cancer Society found that annual mammograms substantially reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer. The study, published in the journal Radiology, comes at a critical time, as a staggering number of women have missed their regular mammogram over the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This October, in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, Geisinger is doing its part to raise awareness about the importance of early breast cancer detection.

Geisinger hospitals across Central Pennsylvania will be lit pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the millions of people and families who have battled and are battling the disease.

All Geisinger Health Plan members will receive a pair of pink socks in the mail to remind them and their loved ones to schedule their annual mammograms. Geisinger is also sending automated phone messages that connect members with its customer care team for easy mammogram scheduling.

“Mammography detects breast cancer early, before symptoms become obvious. Mammograms can also detect benign (non-cancerous) breast disease such as cysts and fibroadenomas. The American College of Radiology and other leading health groups have determined that the most lives are saved with annual mammograms beginning at age 40. Your doctor may recommend starting earlier if you have a family history or other risk factors.” said Dr. Rosemary Leeming, director of the Breast Program, Geisinger.

In 2019, Geisinger unveiled its mobile mammography unit, and the pink bus will continue to help patients in underserved areas this year — a convenient way to schedule mammogram appointments.

“This October, let us all remember the loved ones we have lost to breast cancer, support those in treatment, and reaffirm our commitment to raising awareness on the importance of early detection of breast cancer in our communities,” added Leeming.

For more information on mammograms and breast cancer care, visit geisinger.org/breastcare to schedule your mammogram.

Chris Brady is managing editor at The Standard-Journal and can be reached at chris@standard-journal.com.

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