A sign welcomes visitors on July 7, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

A sign welcomes visitors on July 7, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Seward medical center adds mammography services

In Alaska, cancer is the leading cause of death, and breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed

Providence Seward Medical Center announced this week that it now offers regular mammography services on the eastern Kenai Peninsula.

According to a Thursday news release, the Seward center will feature a Hologic 3Dimensions Mammography System.

“Women age 40 and over in Seward and the surrounding communities no longer have to wait for visits from the mammography coach to get breast examinations,” the release reads.

During a Public Health ECHO earlier this year, Anne Remick, program director for the Section of Women’s, Children’s and Family Health, described mammography as among several key cancer screenings that have seen a downward trend since 2016.

In Alaska’s Gulf Coast Region, which includes the Kenai Peninsula, around 55% of women over 40 years of age are up to date on breast cancer screenings, Remick said. That means having received a mammogram within the last two years.

Remick said that 1 in 3 people get cancer in their life. In Alaska, cancer is the leading cause of death, and breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed. Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is that breast cancer screenings should be performed every two years in women aged 40-74.

“Our goal is to be part of an upward trend,” Remick said.

The release from Providence says regular screening is “the most reliable way to find breast cancer early.” Breast cancer found early “is easier to treat successfully.”

Mammography appointments are available 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday to Friday and can be made by calling Providence Seward Medical Center at 907-224-2847. Exams typically take approximately 30 minutes.

For more information, visit providence.org.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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