Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune receives new mammogram units

22 Jun 2011 | Lance Cpl. Victor Barrera

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – In the United States, it is estimated that one in nine women will develop invasive breast cancer. In 2010, about 39,800 women were expected to die from breast cancer, however, death rates have been decreasing since 1990. One reason being early detection from mammogram screenings.

Since fall of 2010, Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune has had two new full-field digital mammogram units that increase Navy radiologists' ability to detect micro-calcifications during screening mammograms.

“These are state-of-the-art machines,” said Lt. Cmdr. Marcel Macgilvray, chief radiologist with the NHCL. “No one has better equipment for screening mammograms than we do right now.”

The new units are much more sensitive in detecting micro-calcifications, one of the markers radiologists look for while screening mammograms for signs of breast cancer.

“We still recommend that women follow the American College of Radiology guidelines to begin annual screening mammography at age 40,” said Macgilvray. “If they have a primary relative who was diagnosed with breast cancer, however, we recommend they begin annual screening mammograms 10 years prior to the age of their relative's age at the time of diagnosis.”

An annual check-up is recommended and is also covered by TRICARE, the primary health care provider for service members and their dependents.

“We encourage women who have a concern to come in,” said Macgilvray. “If they found a new lump or something their worried about, they can see their provider first, but they can also self-refer by calling 450-3470 and we will get them in to be seen." 

This can help in diagnosing patients faster and if required, give them the appropriate attention right away.

“Studies have shown that breast cancer happens in one in nine women, so it’s not a matter of ‘maybe’ it will happen, it’s just a matter of when it will happen,” said Macgilvray. "Getting screened is a way women can be pro-active and give themselves the best chance to find signs of breast cancer early. Our new digital equipment really helps us in this fight against breast cancer."