By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Every year 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Komen’s Race For The Cure, happening this Sunday, raises money and awareness to help fight the disease.
Annual mammograms can help find the cancer early, but the screening can be uncomfortable for many women. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on how one south Jersey health system is trying to change that.
Check out nature at its finest. At the beach, in a garden, even at the foot of a waterfall. It’s hard to imagine experiencing all of this while getting screened for breast cancer.
“It takes you to a different level of a mammogram. Instead of being cold and, like, feeling embarrassed that your breast is out there, you just feel so relaxed,” said Jean Morrison, who enjoyed her experience in the new Sensory Suite for Mammography at Cooper University Health Care’s Ripa Center for Women’s Health & Wellness in Voorhees.
Designed to stimulate your senses, the technology adds sound, sight, and scent with a spray of fragrance every few minutes, to the experience. The goal is to ease the anxiety of having a mammogram.
“It distracts their attention during the compression of the mammography, so that they can tolerate the procedure a little bit better,” said Dr. Pauline Germaine, a radiologist at Cooper.
She says that in this new suite, women tend to be calmer during the screening, which helps her as she looks for cancer.
“The women are less likely to move, therefore improving image quality and the imagine acquisition. And it’s just better all around,” said Dr. Germaine.
And it’s expected to help with compliance.
“They don’t have as much memory of the discomfort. They’re much more willing to come back. This is more of a spa experience, and that’s what they remember rather than discomfort from the compression,” said Dr. Germaine.
“It was just very, very nice. I don’t feel like I had a mammogram,” said Jean.
The American Cancer Society recommends women get an annual mammogram starting at age 40.
For more on the Ripa Center for Women’s Health & Wellness, visit: www.cooperhealth.org/departments-programs/ripa-center-womens-health-wellness