Tuesday, February 20 , 2018, 10:07 am | Fair 52º


Dignity Health Central Coast Recognizes October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Arroyo Grande Community Hospital,  French Hospital Medical Center and Marian Regional Medical Center, which are Dignity Health Central Coast hospitals, recognize the significance of October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of death for women in the United States.  

While most people are aware of breast cancer, Dignity Health Central Coast wants to emphasize the importance of women to take the necessary steps to detect this disease in its early stages and inspire others to do the same.

October serves as a gentle reminder of an annual mammogram, but breast health is of great importance to women all year long. Early breast cancer usually does not have any symptoms.  

It is important for women to understand the role of breast self-exams in helping each woman become more familiar with her breasts, which may help identify abnormalities or changes.

It is also essential that women receive their regularly scheduled screening mammograms beginning at age 40 and continuing annually.

If there is a family history of breast cancer, consulting a physician regarding the appropriate age to begin screenings could be life-saving. 

Dignity Health has partnered with many local organizations to offer free screening mammograms year round to those who may otherwise not afford them.  

Dignity Health Central Coast is at the forefront of breast cancer screening and is acquiring the latest in breast imaging technology, GE’s SenoClaire Breast Tomosynthesis. This three-dimensional imaging detector delivers high-quality digital imagery at a low dose, delivering greater accuracy in determining the size, shape and location of any breast abnormalities.

This innovative breast imaging equipment captures multiple images of the entire breast, which allows specialized radiologists to see through layers of breast tissue and examine the breast from all viewpoints.  

Dignity Health Central Coast will be receiving four of these devices, supported in large part by our hospital philanthropic entities. The units will be installed at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, French Hospital Medical Center, Marian Regional Medical Center and San Luis Diagnostics.

Additionally, Dignity Health Central Coast offers the area’s only Nurse Navigator program. When a patient receives a breast cancer diagnosis, it is vital to quickly coordinate all aspects of care.  

Our highly-skilled navigators guide patients and their families through a cancer journey, serving as an important source of information and support. Our qualified Nurse navigators are available at no cost to our patients and can help patients understand a cancer diagnosis and treatment options, coordinate communication between patients and their health care team, help patients and their families connect with our many programs as well as community services and inform patients and their families about financial counseling, clinical trials, genetic counseling and other services.

Mammograms catch up to 90 percent of breast cancers, even before symptoms appear, and breast cancers caught in their earliest stages have a 98 percent survival rate.

Our Dignity Health Central Coast facilities offer renowned specialists in mammography, radiology and breast cancer treatment to care for you this month and every month.

A busy life should not get in the way of early detection. To schedule a mammogram today, please call:

» AGCH Coastal Diagnostic Center: 805.481.4705

» FHMC Women’s Health and Imaging Center: 805.597.6700

» San Luis Diagnostics: 805.542.9700

» MRMC Breast Imaging Center: 805.346.3490

— Sara San Juan represents Dignity Health Central Coast. 

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