AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this year’s Miracle Mile Walk is right around the corner.
At Piedmont Augusta they have a new program that helps spot breast cancer.
“This year we started a program for screening whole breast ultrasounds, and it’s great to pair with the mammogram,” said Ashley Bellamy, Lead Ultrasound Technologist. “It’s specifically designed for women who have dense breast tissue, and dense breast tissue can make it harder to see things on your mammogram because of having that type of breast tissue. So screening breast ultrasounds helps make sure that nothings being hidden, and that everything is being evaluated, we’re not missing any types of cancers because it can be hard to evaluate things on a screening mammogram, but screening breast ultrasounds help with that.”
Finding breast cancer early is important, so having these types of programs help.
“We just started it here this year, and so far we’ve done around 550, and out of those 550 we’ve already caught 3 breast ultrasounds that were extremely difficult to see on mammograms so we can already see that it is working and effective,” said Bellamy.
Manager of breast health and survivorship services, Melissa Manley is happy that there’s more programs to help detect breast cancer early.
“My mother is a breast cancer survivor and even with all the knowledge I have in my position and what I’ve learned, when I come in to have a mammogram in my mind it’s still not if, but when are they going to tell me. In 2019 Georgia passed a law that women had to be made aware of their breast density because this increases the risk for breast cancer. So when that was passed and we started talking about the screening breast ultrasound, I thought why would I not do that. Anything that you can do that is that extra level of assurance or make sure that you have the ability to find that cancer earlier, should it happen and get into treatment.”
The staff at Piedmont Augusta are very passionate about the program and with the help of the Piedmont Augusta Foundation more people will be helped.
“They are purchasing us another machine so that we can provide this service to more women,” said Manley.
And if you’re on the fence about getting tested, theres a message for you.
“We do not care here at Piedmont Augusta if you do not have insurance, if you can not afford a mammogram, it is one phone call, we will get you set up, because of the Miracle Mile Walk and the Piedmont Augusta Foundation, and the support of our community, we’re ready for the what ifs,” said Manley.
The Miracle Mile Walk is happening Saturday, October 21st starting at the Augusta Common