Mammograms save lives; one of them may be yours. In recognition of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, RiverView Health is offering, “Be a Friend, Bring a Friend’’, free breast cancer screening events for area women.

    Women are encouraged to register in pairs for either the Oct. 16th or 30th screening events taking place in RiverView’s Diagnostic Imaging Department. From 5 to 7 pm each evening, free 3D mammography screenings will be provided, along with mini facials by Rejuv Salon. Appetizers and wine will be served. The events are made possible with funding through the RiverView Foundation from donations by the Tee it Up “Fore’’ Breast Health Committee and the Crookston Fraternal Order of the Eagles and Auxiliary.

    According to the American College of Radiology, mammography has helped reduce breast cancer mortality in the United States by nearly 40 percent since 1990.

    A breast cancer screening means checking a woman’s breasts for cancer before she has any symptoms. A mammogram – an X-ray picture of the breast – is the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms.

    According to the American Cancer Society and American College of Radiology, women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a regular health exam every three years. Starting at age 40, women should have a CBE every year.

    Women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health.

    Women who are at high risk for breast cancer based on certain factors, including family history of breast or ovarian cancer, should talk with their provider about how often they should have a mammogram.

    Early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. Successful treatment and survival rates for breast cancer patients are dramatically affected by early detection of breast cancers. If breast cancer is found early, before it has spread to lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent.

    To register for one of the mammography events, call RiverView’s Digital Imaging Department at 218-281-9428.