51 year old registered nurse Kay Hankins is the women's health navigator at Gulf Coast Medical Center.
She helps guide women through the health care system from diagnosis to treatment and follow up.
She also uses her position to remind women of the importance of getting mammograms.
Hankins wants women to know "If you have your mammograms done regularly every year...say you get detected with breast cancer...your chances of survivial and being completely free of cancer are much higher if caught early on.
She also says "We have no problem going to the mall, spending 4 or 5 hours shopping, but we will not take the time of one hour out of every 12 months have a test done that could eventually save our life.
Having said that, Hankins admits she's just like everyone else.
It's been 4 years since she's had a mammogram.
But it's a mistake she quickly remedied.
Hopefully Hankins mammogram will be clear.
If not, her next step would be a biopsy.
Gulf Coast has a new tool that makes that procedure less invasive, and more convenient.
it's a stereotactic biopsy table.
She says "it is a computerized table where we can actually have a 3-d image of the breast."
Dr. George Reiss says the machine is able to find the area of calcifications then take views from 15 degrees either way and that helps the computer figure where exactly the calcifications are.
Once the computer does that figuring then we can numb up the breast and do a needle biopsy of the area.
The procedure is done under a local anesthetic and only takes 30 to 45 minutes.
Dr. Reiss says "It's a great preventative medicine - it's easy and it's the best thing you can do in terms of taking care of cancer in it's earliest stage."
The good news is, 80 percent of abnormal tissue found in the breast turns out to be benign.
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