JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
On Saturday, May 6, 2017, northeast Arkansas will host its first Race for the Cure to raise money to fight breast cancer.
As men and women walk and run, the money raised will go to research to help fight breast cancer.
The millions of dollars already raised has made a large difference in the technology used to detect breast cancer.
Behind the walls of the NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital Clinic in Jonesboro is the breast imaging center.
It's a place that can be scary, but Dr. Heidi Umphrey said they've created an environment of safety.
"Our staff at NEA does an excellent job at making patients feel at home and more comfortable," Dr. Umphrey said.
While encouraging symbols of hope and courage line the walls with a quiet private waiting room, it's in the exam room where research dollars are at work.
"Research dollars help us to better detect breast cancer," Dr. Umphrey said. "They help us better learn how to treat breast cancer."
The doctor has been a breast imager for nine years and said before technology advanced most detection of breast cancer was through a clinical exam.
In 2017, large machines are used to detect breast cancer including some of the smallest of lumps.
"We've made some improvements in screening mammography through tomosynthesis which you may know is 3D mammography," Dr. Umphrey said.
She said the imaging can help reduce the number of callbacks and allow doctors to personalize treatment.
"Taylor screening to the individual woman," Dr. Umphrey said. "You know, because one person may need a different screening regime than someone else."
While mammograms aren't recommended until at least 40-years-old, the doctor said there are options for those who want to know about their risk of getting breast cancer.
"Patients who have a lifetime risk of the development of breast cancer of greater than 20 percent," Dr. Umphrey said. "Those would be patients who have a strong family history of breast cancer or may even have a family history of ovarian cancer."
NEA's clinic offers risk assessment services. Dr. Umphrey said with every step and every dollar raised, more advances in mammography and testing are possible.
The doctor recently completed research focused on contrast mammography and its value to women with dense breast.
She said the research will be out soon.
For more information on risk assessments or the clinic call 870-936-8379.
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