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Team McConnell goes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

The 22nd Medical Group radiology department wants to increase public awareness about the detrimental affects of breast cancer and encourage women to schedule mammogram appointments. Approximately 12.4 percent of women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer within their lives so staying up to date on mammograms is vital in keeping healthy, not only for yourself but for loved ones as well. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Christopher Thornbury)

The 22nd Medical Group radiology department wants to increase public awareness about the detrimental affects of breast cancer and encourage women to schedule mammogram appointments. Approximately 12.4 percent of women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer within their lives so staying up to date on mammograms is vital in keeping healthy, not only for yourself but for loved ones as well. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Christopher Thornbury)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- "Many women are so busy taking care of their families that often times family pets go to the veterinarian before women will make time for their own health and wellness check," said Renetta Moore, 22nd Medical Support Squadron mammographer. "But how can you care for everyone else, if you are not taking care of yourself?"

The 22nd Medical Group Radiology Department wants to increase public awareness about the detrimental effects of breast cancer and encourage women to schedule mammogram appointments.

"Breast exams are important especially for those with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer and should be taken at least once a year after your 40's," said Lt. Col. Marina Johnston, 22nd Medical Operations Squadron women's health nurse practitioner. "We can evaluate and see if they will be eligible for genetic testing to determine if they are at a higher risk for breast cancer. Then, we will know if they need follow-up screenings to prevent cancer or catch it at an early stage."

Each woman should check herself for masses or lumps often; however, sometimes lumps can be undetectable by touch and require a mammogram to find. The sooner the lump is discovered, the sooner treatment can be performed.

"Sometimes you can find them small, and they don't need a lumpectomy or chemotheropy, so the patients life isn't interupted as drasticly as if they were to wait and it developed," said Moore. "Your likelihood of survival increases when you have early detection."

Breast cancer can attack any and all pillars of a woman's comprehensive fitness, but the Airmen of the 22nd MDG are here to assist in stopping cancer in its tracks and lead patients to the road of recovery.

"I think that it can be very empowering for a woman to know if they have a high risk, so they are able to receive treatment quickly or know that they are clear of problems," said Johnston.

Cancer is known as the silent killer, which makes it essential to check often and keep up to date on mammograms.

According to Cancer.gov, 12.4 percent of women born in the U.S. will develop breast cancer during their lifetime.

"Every pateint that I see is someone's mother, aunt, wife, grandmother, cousin or friend," said Moore. "When you are able to allow those people more time with one another it is one of the best gifts you can give."

If you have any concerns, questions or would like to schedule an appointment contact the radiology department at (316) 759- 5030.