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Clinic fights breast cancer

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Early detection saves lives. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women, affecting approximately 10 percent of all women in the Western world, said Tech. Sgt. Andrea Lee, 27th Medical Operations Squadron. While efforts have been made to achieve early detection and effective treatment, about 20 percent of all women diagnosed with breast cancer will die from the disease, making it the second most common cause of cancer deaths among women. 

The staff of the Cannon Women’s Health Clinic has established walk-in services from 1:30 to 3:15 p.m. the third Friday of every month. 

They will serve all 27th Medical Group beneficiaries (including active duty, retirees and dependants). In addition to walk-in breast exams, the clinic will also provide mammogram referrals to one of four locations based on the patient’s choice. 

Monthly examinations are important to detect breast cancer early, when it’s most likely to be cured, said Sergeant Lee. Not all cancer is found this way, but it is a critical step women should take for themselves. “The more they examine their breasts, the more they will learn about them and the easier it will be to notices changes,” she said. 

In addition to self exams, annual breast exams by a provider, with recommended mammogram screenings, also play a vital part in detecting and treating breast cancer.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute recommends a screening mammography with a baseline mammogram at age 35, a mammogram every two years after age 40 and annual mammograms after 50. 

Breast cancers detected by mammography are usually smaller than those detected clinically. Mammography has been proven to reduce the mortality rates from breast cancer and is the first choice for screening of early breast cancer, said Sergeant Lee. 

The next walk-in service will be held April 21. For more information, call 784-2778.