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The Traveling Pink Tree with a Powerful Message

October 14, 2010
 
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Edward Ostrowski, MD, Board Certified Radiologist

 

 

 

In the Main Lobby of Baystate Mary Lane Hospital sits a brightly lit pink tree. Its sister tree is traveling around the community.  These beautiful trees, decorated with cards, all for the taking, have a serious goal and deliver a powerful message.  Each card reminds and empowers women to take charge of their own breast health by practicing regular self-breast exams, scheduling their annual mammograms and following up with their healthcare provider for a clinical breast exam.  

Since the inception of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month program in 1985, mammography rates have more than doubled for women age 50 and older and breast cancer deaths have declined.  “While this is exciting progress,” said Edward Ostrowski, MD, a board certified Radiologist, “the key to mammography screening is that it be done routinely – once is not enough.  There are still women who do not take advantage of early detection at all and others who do not get screening mammograms and clinical breast exams at regular intervals.”  

 “At Baystate Mary Lane Hospital we offer digital mammography which produces exceptionally sharp images,” said Dr. Ostrowski.  “It is different from conventional mammography in how the image of the breast is viewed and, more importantly, how the image is manipulated.   With digital mammography, a radiologist can magnify images, increase or decrease contrast while reading the images. These features allow the Radiologist to evaluate microcalcifications and focus on areas of concern.   Since this technology does not use film, images are available for immediate viewing,” notes Dr. Ostrowski.    Baystate Mary Lane Hospital complements digital mammography with Computer-Aided Detection (CAD).  Digital CAD highlights characteristics commonly associated with breast cancer and flags abnormalities to help a radiologist detect an early breast cancer.  

“Our five Licensed Mammography Technologists offer over 125 years of combined experience in providing superior quality screening and diagnostic mammography testing,” notes Dr Ostrowski.  “These outstanding employees are truly committed to providing quality health care to all women that come here, not only for mammography screening,” said Dr. Ostrowski, “but also for any other breast diagnostic testing, including ultrasounds, and biopsies.

“There are ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer,”  notes Dr Ostrowski, “which include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, knowing family history of breast cancer, understanding the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy, limiting alcohol intake, and getting regular breast cancer screenings.” 

We will all be touched by breast cancer in some way, said Dr. Ostrowski, as statistically we know that one in eight women in this country will be diagnosed with breast cancer sometime in her life.  At Baystate Mary Lane Hospital we appeal to women not only in October but every month of the year to allow us to be their partners in their breast health.”

 

The American Cancer Society Recommendations for Screening

  • Yearly screening mammography beginning at the age of 40 with no upper age limit. 
  • Annual Clinical Breast Exam (CBE) preformed yearly starting at age 30
  • Breast Self Exam encourage. Women should be taught signs and symptoms of cancer."

 

Women are welcome to make their appointment for their annual mammogram at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital by calling Access Services toll free at 1-866-531-8378 or the Baystate Mary Lane Hospital Radiology Department at 413-967-2272. 

 

 
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