Banner Health News Center  

Banner Lassen encouraging women to be proactive in fighting breast cancer while being pampered


SUSANVILLE, Calif. (July 30, 2013) – Aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is also one of the leading causes of cancer death, but early detection is the best way to increase a woman’s chance of survival.

“One in nine women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime,” Terri Bortle, Medical Imaging director for Banner Lassen Medical Center said. “A mammogram could save a life.”

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. Mammograms provide the best method for detecting breast cancer early stages the cancer is easier to treat and before patients report symptoms.

During a mammogram, the patient stands in front of an X-ray machine. The imaging technician places the patient’s breast on a plastic plate, and another plate presses down on the breast, flattening the breast while the image is captured. The patient will feel pressure. Then, the process is repeated for the other breast. Multiple images from different angles will be captured for each breast.

A mammogram doesn’t take long, but most women find the procedure uncomfortable. Imaging centers take many steps to make patients feel more at ease including providing special amenities like a warm robe.

Bortle says some women are intimidated by the process, and medical staff are hoping to relax patients through pampering. The center will continue its “Manicures, Massages and Mammograms” annual event this October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, hoping to decrease anxieties while increasing survival rates and community awareness.
 “Mammograms are the best mode for early detection,” Bortle said, “which increases a woman’s chance of survival.” The staff is hoping to make the screenings a relaxing event for women, where they learn about the risk of breast cancer and the importance of mammograms as a diagnostic tool.

The American Cancer Society recommends women 40 and over have a mammogram annually. Women should talk with their doctors about their personal risk factors and make a decision about when to start getting mammograms or how often they should get them.

The “Manicures, Massages and Mammograms” event will be held  Fridays in October, (Oct 4, 11 and 25) and on Saturday, October 19. You must have a doctor’s order for a screening mammogram only (no signs or symptoms) and scheduling an appointment is required. For more information, or to make an appointment, call (530) 252-2065.

About Banner Lassen Medical Center
Banner Lassen Medical Center in Susanville, Calif., originally opened in 1883 as Lassen County Hospital. It is a part of Banner Health, a nonprofit healthcare system with 24 hospitals in seven states. Banner Lassen offers a range of services to aid in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness. For more information, visit

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