McLaren Bay Region Celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Early Detection Saves Lives; Schedule Your Mammogram Today

BAY CITY, MICH – At McLaren Bay Region, we want to remind our community that early detection saves lives, and stress the importance of scheduling a mammogram today. Mammograms can help find breast cancer early, when treatments are more likely to be successful.

Breast Cancer is the most common form of cancer for women. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, nearly 300,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Although death contributed to breast cancer has declined, it is still the second highest cancer death among women.

Who should get a mammogram?

For women with average risk of breast cancer, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® recommends an annual mammogram for women age 40 and older. However, if you have a family history of breast cancer it is important to talk to your primary care physician to see if you need to be screened sooner.

What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

  • Being a woman – although men can have breast cancer, this disease is about 100 times more common in women than in men.
  • Getting older – as you age, the risk for breast cancer increases.
  • Certain inherited genes – about 5 - 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary.

Dense breast tissue, relative to fatty tissue; early menstruation before age 12; and reaching menopause after age 55 also contribute to the development of breast cancer.

Proven risk factors aside, a significant way to reduce the incidence of breast cancer is to lead a life of overall health and wellness. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet of whole foods, limiting daily alcohol intake to 6 ounces of wine, or 1 ounce of liquor for women, and participating in a daily exercise routine all help. This, coupled with self-exams and yearly mammograms, will work toward reducing the rates of breast cancer cases and breast cancer deaths.

Breast Cancer Support Services

For those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, several support services are available. At McLaren Bay Region, our dedicated and experienced team guides patients through diagnosis, surgery, and other therapies.

“The goal is connecting patients with the resources they need while empowering them to have the best possible experience as they travel through the care continuum,” explains Lead Mammographer Denise Peil, RT RM. “We also offer support services like an oncology dietitian, breast health navigator, social worker, Breast Cancer Education Series, transportation assistance, lymphedema clinics, physical and occupational therapy, and connection to many other resources to help patients with insurance or financial concerns.”

For details about breast health services offered near you and other health-related information, visit or call Bay Diagnostic Center at (989) 667-6350. To schedule a 3D mammogram visit