Spokane Journal of Business

Inland Imaging says campaign boosted mammograms here

Radiology services provider says awareness initiative is a factor in 8 percent jump

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Inland Imaging LLC, of Spokane says that in its first year of a campaign it launched to encourage women to get regular mammogram screenings it saw a marked increase in breast cancer diagnoses.

Cancers found by doctors using images from Inland Imaging increased in 2009 in large part because of the Every Woman Can campaign, to 519 cancers found, up from 459 in the previous year, Inland Imaging asserts. Altogether, Inland Imaging performed about 60,000 mammograms last year, or about 8 percent more than in 2008.

Based on those gains, the company decided to launch, late last year, a nonprofit foundation by the same name. The foundation has raised $10,000 to date to further its goals to help raise money for breast-cancer research, to help pay for mammograms for women who are uninsured or underinsured, and to educate women about breast cancer screening and the value of early detection of the disease, Inland Imaging says.

For 2010, Inland Imaging had projected a further increase in the number of screenings, but the number of screenings dropped down some in January and February, says Inland Imaging spokesman Jason Miller.

He says analysis of the numbers indicates that the drop hasn't, however, been predominantly among women between the ages of 40 and 50, for whom conflicting advice on breast screening has been published recently. He says the company speculates that the economy is causing some women to postpone their annual exams.

Inland Imaging launched the Every Woman Can campaign in early 2009.

About the same time, Inland Imaging hired a research firm here, Robinson Research Inc., to collect data to help identify factors that either deter or encourage women to have their annual screening mammogram.

In a survey it conducted of Spokane-area women, Inland Imaging found that only 40 percent of women here over 40 years of age have regular screening mammograms. The survey found that the major barriers to screening are that women lack time and the money to pay for such screenings.

The company launched the Every Woman Can Campaign, using social media Web sites such as Facebook, to share information and to allow women to share their stories, hosting events for women, and collaborating with businesses here to offer special discounts to women who participate in the campaign.

The American Cancer Society says breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women, after lung cancer, and it estimates 40,170 women will die from breast cancer this year. It says that mammography could detect between 80 percent and 90 percent of breast tumors in women who have no symptoms.

  • Jeanne Gustafson

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