For women over the age of 50, managing your health becomes more than the annual check-up at the physician’s office. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Breast Cancer is the most common cancer among women despite race or ethnicity and the second most common cause of death among almost all women. Julie Denney, Midwife for Health Quest Medical Practice, sees prevention measures as the most powerful women possess in the fight against this most deadly disease, “Regular breast cancer screenings are critical because early detection can save lives.” The United States Preventive Task Force, a coalition of medical professionals and experts in disease control recommend that women between the ages of 50 and 74 who are at average risk (based on a number of factors including family history) for breast cancer, receive a mammogram approximately every two years. Similarly, the USPSTF notes that women between the ages of 40 and 49 years old should begin consulting their physician about preventative measures and when to start getting their own breast cancer screenings.

In order to take a more proactive role in helping women combat the disease, Northern Dutchess Hospital has teamed up with the Cancer Services Program of the Hudson Valley to offer Breast Cancer Screenings from 2:30-5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the hospital in Rhinebeck NY. Additionally, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the hospital will also extend weekend and Wednesday evening hours during the month of October. “Early detection through mammography can offer the best chances of survival,” says Denney, “We want to find breast cancer before there are any signs or symptoms and start treatment right away.” Northern Dutchess Hospital is extending its community outreach beyond economic borders as well this coming October, as Women, age 50 to 74, with no health insurance or who are underinsured may be eligible for the Hospital’s community-benefit event. The October 22 screening will include a breast exam and 3-D mammogram in the women’s imaging center at the hospital. “3-D mammography offers greater clarity and accuracy in cancer detection over two-dimensional imaging,” says Jacquelyn Decker, the hospital’s lead mammographer, “The exam is like a conventional mammography but provides multiple 3-D images of breast tissue.” Ms.Decker is keenly aware breast cancer’s pervasiveness in women at a certain age, both as a medical professional, and survival of the disease as well, “As a recent breast cancer survivor myself, I have personally learned the great importance of early detection. Thankfully, my cancer was picked up at my annual breast screening. Because my cancer was picked up early, I only needed minimal treatment. If I had waited another year it most likely would have spread and I would have needed more intense treatments such as chemotherapy. I am thankful that mammography picked up my cancer early and saved my life.”

The screening event will be held Tuesday October 22 at Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck NY, appointments are required and space is limited. The Cancer Services Program of the Hudson Valley will schedule appointments at 855-277-4482 and pay for eligible screenings. For directions, parking information and general questions, call 845-871-1720 ext. 1 (TTY 1-800-421-1220).