10/23/18

Why and when equally important for breast cancer screening

The never-ending task list: Pay bills. Drop off kids. Taking care of routine health exams seem to fall off.

Technology makes fitting annual mammograms in even easier. MyCarle users can now schedule their mammograms online.

“It never fails. I remember to make an appointment after dinner or while I’m running errands on the weekend,” said Jolene Duckett, radiology technical specialist at Carle and MyCarle online scheduling user. “Now, I can schedule right then, when I remember so I don’t put it off or simply let it slip my mind.”

Carle launched online scheduling through MyCarle, and patients sing its praises.

“Juggling life as a busy mom of two active boys is an adventure,” said Laura Mabry of St. Joseph. “There never seems to be enough time in the day to fit it all in.”

Once your provider orders your test, scheduling online takes just a few clicks of your mouse or about five minutes.

“Like any new process, it took some getting used to, but it was convenient to choose an appointment time that fit my schedule,” Mabry said. “I was able to see what other health reminders were due, too.”

Since Carle launched online scheduling for mammography, patients are scheduling more than more than 10 appointments online daily. Because of the extra attention surrounding Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the open appointments begin in December.

“I knew I wasn’t quite due, but with the town painted pink this month, it was on my mind so I got my mammogram on the calendar,” Mabry said.

In the “old days,” patients received a postcard reminder. Today the computer pings you when your mammogram is due, prompting you to schedule easily online through MyCarle. Patients are welcoming the new amenity.

“Today’s mammograms are finding things as small as 3 millimeters – tip of a pencil eraser. Before technology, we wouldn’t find it for years, and it would require more advanced treatment,” said April Dickenson, MD.

MyCarle users can ask their provider to order their mammogram. Then log on to schedule. If patients need an interpreter or have any breast problems, the scheduling center at 217-383-6636 will guide them. Users also may cancel or reschedule as needed online.

“You’re walked through step-by-step and can see all available appointments, so it’s convenient for your busy calendar. Just get in because if we can catch it early and small, the results can be amazing,” Duckett said. “If this tool gets even one more woman in to see us because it’s easy and quick, it’s totally worth it.”

The American Cancer Society recommends women receive mammograms yearly starting at age 40 unless family history dictates earlier monitoring. Then at age 75, check with your provider to determine the best plan and approach.

“Screening mammograms are important for a few reasons. First, we can monitor any changes in the breast tissue. Second, it finds things you can’t feel,” Duckett said. “At Carle, we’re unique in that we’re completely dedicated to breast imaging. All day every day – so we can focus and be experts.”

Carle offers both 2D and 3D mammography. Patients should check with their insurance provider before scheduling. Offline scheduling is available by calling 217-383-6636.