During Breast Cancer Awareness month this October, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center Santa Clara has presented dozens of pink roses to the hundreds of women each week—a hundred or more a day—who had a mammogram. It’s a nice surprise after completing what many women consider to be an uncomfortable health screening procedure.
“I’ve seen a lot of smiles this month,” says RNP Karen House, Breast Care Coordinator. House says that KP recommends breast cancer screening every one to two years for most women between 40 and 75 but patients should consult their doctors.
“In California, one out of eight women has breast cancer, and early detection means earlier treatment with a better long-term prognosis,” says Lisa Tomasian, Lead Mammography Technologist. Tomasian points out that nowadays, with earlier breast cancer detection and comprehensive care, more women die from lung cancer than breast cancer.
“I can’t be prouder of our team. We treat people like family. Over the last five years, the coordination of care for our women with breast cancer has been phenomenal,” says Dr. Susan Smarr, Physician-in-Chief of Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center.
Although appointments are preferred, Smarr points out that KP clients can just drop in for a mammogram without a prior appointment at the main and satellite KP medical centers. The women’s team says it’s like one-stop shopping. You stop off for a flu shot and end up holding a pink rose after an unscheduled mammogram.
“We try and catch them while they’re here,” says Smarr.