Westside Family Health Center, Cancer Society active in informing women about mammograms

The Westside Family Health Center in Santa Monica reminds women to get a mammogram every year. Mammograms are offered once a month at the Center. A staple in Santa Monica for 30 years, the Westside Family Health Center sees over 7,000 patients a year and offers mammograms and other health services, according to Debra Farmer, Westside Family Health Center president and chief executive officer. “The first Thursday of each month we do 30 to 60 mammograms and the women the clinic sees always walk away with something, such as a pink carnation,” Farmer says. Farmer says education is an important component of raising awareness, and at the center nurse practitioners perform clinical exams and also show patients how to do a self-exam. “Women need to be comfortable with their bodies and know when they change, but a person also needs to be proactive and not be afraid of the changes.” Farmer says. She adds that it’s important to remember that even though the percentage is small, men are also at risk for breast cancer. Early detection is the impetus behind awareness month and mammograms represent an important tool for early detection. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 35,505 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to occur in California this year. Of those cases, 5,560 are expected to be in Los Angeles County. Studies show that...

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