Mammograms save lives – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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DENVER -- October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Mammograms are the gold standard when it comes to finding the disease, yet many women still put off having this important screening.

Three years ago Luanne Petramala, who is in her 50s, discovered a lump in her breast.  She says, “I completely ignored it. I had already convinced myself that it was from drinking too  much caffeine.

Two years later, Petramala heard about an event called "Girl`s Night Out" at the Platte Valley Medical Center where women could get mammograms and also share their experiences.

It turned out that the event would end up saving Luanne`s life.  “When I saw the mammogram myself I knew in my heart of heart it was not good."

A biopsy confirmed that Luanne had stage 2 breast cancer.  She started her treatment right away and found the journey was nothing like what she expected.

She explains, “It just went so smoothly it truly did.  I never was afraid. I never shed a tear over it. It just felt like I was really well protected.”

Today Luanne encourages other women to be screened for breast cancer.  She says mammograms have come a long way and are a more comfortable experience. "They aren’t the same sterile situation they use to be and forget about what your mom or your sisters have told you about going.”

Doctors suggest women get their first mammogram at age 40, earlier if you have breast cancer in your family. Catching cancer early really does mean a better chance of survival.

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