520 North Third Ave Sandpoint, ID 83864

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Reserve Your Spot for Sip & Screen Mammo Party

By Kathy Hubbard

Last year’s party was such a hit the Imaging Center at Bonner General Health is planning its second Sip and Screen Mammo Party. If you are due for your mammogram, you will want to make your appointment for this incredible event that is going to happen on Saturday, October 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 423 N. Third Avenue, Suite 210 in Sandpoint.

Don’t just take my word for it that this is amazingly fun. “Several women came in for their first mammograms,” Robin Hanson, Bonner General Health’s Marketing Specialist, said. “They had put it off for years, but the party finally gave them the courage and incentive to make an appointment.”

“Many of them sat nervously in the waiting room, and they got to watch the women that went ahead of them walk out saying ‘that was easy, it wasn’t bad at all!’ It was great to see their reassurance right before they went in. One attendee cheered, ‘It was a lot easier than going to the dentist!’”

You know that you need to get screened for breast cancer, so why not bring a few friends and join the party with beverages (perhaps a glass of bubbly), appetizers, sweets, and prizes. Call 208-265-3349 or go online to www.bonnergeneral.org/mammoparty to make your appointment.

If you’ve been living under a rock, you might not know that a mammogram is a low-dose radiation x-ray that allows a specialist to check out the breast tissue for anything suspicious. Often a mammogram can detect a lump before it can be felt. As a matter of fact, mammograms can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them.

BGH has the state-of-the-art 3-D mammography called breast tomosynthesis. This is an advanced form of breast imaging in that multiple images of the breast from different angles are captured and reconstructed (synthesized) into a three-dimensional image.

Who should have a mammogram? The American Cancer Society recommends you start screening between the ages of forty and forty-five, but your primary care provider will be the one to advise you. If you have a family history of breast cancer, particularly if it’s your mother or sister, your PCP may have you start mammograms earlier. ACS also says that after fifty-five you can switch to every other year and continue that schedule as long as you’re in good health and expect to live another ten years.

Now you’re going to ask, what really happens when you go in for the test? You will strip to the waist, so plan accordingly when you choose what to wear. You should not use any deodorant, powders or lotions before the screening, but if you forget they’ll give you wipes. Use them, or your test may show shadows that look suspicious but really are just hygiene products.

You’ll be given a gown to cover yourself, so you’re not walking around exposed. And think about this, the tech has seen every size and shaped breast, yours will not be new to her. Be sure to tell the tech if you have implants or suspect that you might be pregnant.

I do have to tell you that she will touch you. It’s important to position the breast to get the best picture, and the only way to do that is to manipulate the breast between the two plates as they compress the breast.

Does it hurt? I’m going to say no. But I will concede that it’s momentarily uncomfortable. Not painful, just a bit uncomfortable. Please let your technician know if you experience pain and she will make any necessary adjustments. It’s a very small price to pay to know that everything is okay. And the scan takes just a quick moment. It can’t take long because you have to hold your breath.

“The Sip and Screen Mammo Party is designed to be a welcoming, fun, social environment,” Director of Diagnostic Imaging Daniel Holland said. “We want to encourage individuals to come to BGH who may be nervous, coming in for the first time, or who haven’t had a mammogram in a long time, to take the step of preventative health. Please give us a call to schedule your appointment. We would love to treat you with some extra comforts.”


Kathy Hubbard is a member of Bonner General Health Foundation Advisory Council. She can be reached at kathyleehubbard@yahoo.com.

Click Here to Request an Appointment for the Mammo Party at BGH

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