LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — Editor's note: Watch part one of this story HERE.
Doctors recommend women start getting mammograms yearly at the age of 40 and sooner if they have risk factors.
For Newswatch 16's Nikki Krize, breast cancer runs in the family. Nikki's paternal grandmother died from the disease, so she realized the importance of getting regular checkups. Nikki recently turned 40 and got her first mammogram at Geisinger's mobile mammography unit, located in Pottsville that day.
Geisinger, mammography technologist Gina Markle did the mammogram and showed Nikki the scans afterward.
The mammogram seemed to go well but waiting for the results was nerve-wracking for Nikki.
"We typically try and turn patients around rather quickly, and also, if they would need that further imaging again, that process is turned around rather quickly as well," Markle said.
Nikki's results were available online quickly at Geisinger's MyChart.
There is no evidence of suspicious masses, calcifications, or other abnormal findings. No mammographic evidence of malignance.
Nikki's results were normal, which was a big relief. Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone. Many women need to go back for another exam.
"First, don't be scared; a lot of women need follow-up exams. But you would be scheduled, and you would get your results the same day as that follow-up appointment," Markle said.
If your results are normal and you don't have any risk factors, Geisinger doctors recommend getting a mammogram once a year. The procedure takes less than ten minutes, and a mammogram can detect cancer years before you or your doctor can feel a tumor.
"You will never know that you have that sitting there until you get a mammogram. I just want to continue to express that mammograms do save lives, and starting them at the age of 40 is very important," said Dr. Tatianie Jackson, a Geisinger radiologist.
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