MedTech POV Blog

“Do it”: Breast Cancer Screening Saves Lives

  1. DeChane Dorsey Executive Director, AdvaMed Accel

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova and singing superstar Mary J. Blige have a powerful message for women: We’re all busy but should never be too busy for annual health screenings.

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October is a reminder to schedule recommended mammograms. Thanks to a routine screening, Navratilova caught her breast cancer at the earliest stage. She hadn’t realized she’d gone four years without a mammogram, prior to her diagnosis, and vowed not to let that happen again.

Mary J. Blige filmed a Super Bowl commercial, promoting the importance of her annual well woman screening, no matter how hectic her schedule.

Such advocacy is critical. An estimated 50 percent of women don’t get annual mammograms, whether due to fear of the results, the procedure’s discomfort, or lack of health insurance.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American women, according to the American Cancer Society.

The disease occurs more often in White women than in Black women, but Black women die from it more often than White women.

Medical device companies are working to improve the mammography experience for all women, with more efficient yet precise screening technology, including 3D imaging to detect invasive breast cancers, and more physically comfortable mammography equipment.

“Do it. Take care of yourself first.” 

––Martina Navratilova, tennis legend

AdvaMed member companies are committed to access for all patients to life-saving cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment technology. Our organization has embraced Principles on Health Equity, a  good base from which to examine some of the factors that may influence access to cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment.

All patients deserve access to health care – including the latest technology – for the best possible outcomes.

As AdvaMed and medical technology companies work with policymakers and insurers to break down barriers to health equity, we continue to raise awareness of public health concerns and best practices.

Experts generally recommend that women at average risk begin breast cancer screening in their 40s. Those at higher risk may have different screening recommendations.

For those lacking access to mammograms through insurance, organizations such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation offer free mammograms and diagnostic services for women in need.

As Navratilova says, “Do it. Take care of yourself first.”

Learn more about our work to support diagnostics manufacturers.

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