October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness of the disease that claims the lives of about 41,000 women in the U.S. each year. There are several factors that can impact your risk of developing breast cancer, including age, family history and lifestyle habits. Staying healthy and being vigilant about detection can lower your risk of developing breast cancer and improve your chances of survival if diagnosed.
Mammograms are the first line of defense in the fight against breast cancer, but only 65 percent of women in this age range report having a mammogram within the last two years. Women often skip these potentially life-saving screenings citing lack of time or convenience, or anxiety caused by waiting for results, which can sometimes take weeks.
When it comes to cancer, every moment you wait to treat it can feel like an opportunity lost. As a leader in women’s health with the No. 2 rating nationwide for HEDIS breast cancer screenings, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States has designed a new process that delivers mammogram results within 30 to 60 minutes.
In fact, more than 90 percent of patients get their results in less than 30 minutes, with an average wait of about 12.8 minutes. This means less anxiety, a faster diagnosis and a quicker route to treatment for those who need it. Patients can receive their 30 to 60-minute results in person via a printed letter shortly after their mammogram is complete or at their convenience on kp.org.
“By offering quick mammogram results, we are breaking down the barriers to breast cancer screenings with the ultimate goal of improving health outcomes,” stated Wilbur Chang, MD , Assistant Regional Medical Director for Imaging Services. “Through this this patient-centered approach to breast cancer diagnostics, we offer a level of care that is putting the power back in patients’ hands and hopefully catching problems before they happen.”
About Dr. Wilbur Chang
Dr. Chang is a board-certified Diagnostic Radiologist and Orthopedic Surgeon based in Maryland. In practice for more than 20 years, Dr. Chang attended the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
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