Local technologist eases fears, stresses importance of getting a mammogram


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Over the years, women have shared with News 3 how a mammogram has saved their life, yet some women shy away from them because they say they’re too painful.

Tina Tyus-Shaw checked in with Telfair Pavilion, where 19,000 mammograms were done in 2019. Mammography Technologist Sara Claxton says her goal is to make the patient as comfortable as possible, because the procedure is such an important part of women’s health.

The chances of a cure are at its highest when breast cancer is detected early, but some women opt for an MRI or ultrasound for fear of pain. Claxton says communication is key when trying to stop those fears.

“I tell all of my patients it should never be painful,” Claxton said. “It may be uncomfortable, but we can always adjust the compression here if anything is too uncomfortable. We know exactly how much compression it takes in order to get a good quality image.”

An accurate mammogram is important, because some women have dense breasts, which could make it difficult to detect small abnormalities.

“With calcification especially, that can really only be seen under mammography,” Claxton said. “That can be a very early sign of breast cancer. So that is something you would not want to miss.”

Remember to talk with your doctor before making a decision about your breast health. What works for you may not work for your mother, sister or friend.

To learn more about breast health, CLICK HERE.

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