It’s time to “think pink!” Pink signifies Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is celebrated every October to promote the importance of early detection.

Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Fortunately, it is nearly 100% treatable when caught early, which is why routine mammograms are so important.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends a screening mammogram every two years if you are between the ages of 50 and 74. If you are 40 to 49 years old, the CDC recommends you talk to your doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram.

In addition to mammograms, we offer a new screening tool called ABUS, or Automated Breast Ultrasound. This tool offers an additional layer of detection for the 40% of women who have dense breast tissue making it more difficult to detect breast cancer with a mammogram alone.

Unlike 2D or 3D mammography, which uses radiation, ABUS screening uses sound waves to create 3D pictures of breast tissue. The ABUS images, along with the mammogram views, provide a clear evaluation of dense breast tissue. This is especially important because dense tissue appears white on mammograms and can mask suspicious lumps or masses, which also appear white on mammograms.

Breast density, which is classified in one of four categories, is identified by the radiologist reading the mammogram. ABUS screening is recommended based on density classification. A breast composed of more breast tissue than fat is considered dense.

In addition to using different technology than mammograms, images are collected differently with ABUS screening, as a scanner is pressed firmly against the breast while the patient rests on a bed. The exam takes about 15 minutes, and the physician reviews both the ABUS screening and mammogram images.

ABUS screenings are performed at UH Samaritan Health Center at 2212 Mifflin Avenue in Ashland. Most insurance plans cover ABUS screenings, but patients are still encouraged to check with their insurance company.

2D and 3D mammography services are available at:

UH Samaritan Medical Center
1025 Center Street
Ashland, Ohio 44805

UH Samaritan Health Center
2212 Mifflin Avenue
Ashland, Ohio 44805

For more information about any of these services, please call 419-207-9272. A physician’s order is necessary for the mammograms and ABUS screening.