Creek Nation Hospital launches 3D mammography service
By Ken Childers
A new service was launched this month at the Creek Nation Hospital in Okemah, and the timing couldn’t be any better. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and that new service is 3D mammography.
Ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held at the hospital on Thursday, Oct. 8 to commemorate the local availability of the high-tech service, which can help save lives by detecting breast cancer early.
“Awareness is extremely important, but early detection is the main key,” Muscogee (Creek) Nation (MCN) Principal Chief David Hill said during the ceremony. “We’re committed to improving breast cancer survival rates, and that’s why we’ve invested in a state-of-the-art, 3D mammography machine. And what a better month than October to begin these services at the Okemah Creek Nation Hospital.”
The mammography services, as well as all of the services offered by the hospital, are available to both tribal citizens and non-Native patients.
“The Muscogee (Creek) Nation remains committed to improving rural healthcare in the communities we serve,” said Shawn Terry, MCN Secretary of Health. “Early detection drastically improves breast cancer survival rates and we are proud to bring these critical mammography services to residents in Okemah and surrounding areas.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her
lifetime. The 3D GeniusTM Mammography technology provides greater accuracy, earlier breast cancer detection and improves the ability to find more invasive cancers. Mammography services are also available at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Medical Center in Okmulgee and the Koweta Indian Health facility in Coweta.
“We fully believe that where you live shouldn’t determine if you live. Geography alone cannot predict if a person is at risk for breast cancer, however, it does impact access to quality care within things like prevention, screening and treatment options,” said Abbi Lee, Executive Director, Susan G. Komen Oklahoma.
“We know one of the most important factors in a breast cancer diagnosis is catching it early. That is why having a mammography machine within a short driving distance is such a gift for the area – not just the tribal members, but the entire community. The fact that it is 3D makes it even more so. 3D mammography machines make it so that fewer breast cancer diagnosis are missed,” Lee added.
Susan G. Komen, formerly known as Susan G. Komen for the Cure and originally as The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, is the largest and best-funded breast cancer organization in the United States.
The MCN Department of Health operates six clinics and a physical rehabilitation center serving tribal citizens. MCNDH also provides inpatient and emergency services in Okmulgee and Okemah to both tribal citizens and non-Native patients through its community hospitals and long-term acute care facility.