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Breast Cancer: Prioritizing Breast Cancer Screenings Every Year

Oct 12, 2023

Deming, NM — Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among women, with 300,590 new cases expected in the United States in 2023, according to the National Cancer Institute’s projections. The statistics are sobering, with an estimated one in eight women possibly developing invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month takes center stage every October, with pink reminders adorning store countertops and a surge of awareness-raising events and races.

While some risk factors for breast cancer are beyond our control, such as family history and age-related susceptibility, the critical role of early detection is paramount. Early detection can save lives, beginning with routine mammography and self-examinations. The American Cancer Society recommends the following:

1. Monthly Self-Exams: Starting at age 20, women

should do monthly exams to help identify changes

in the normal breast tissue.

2. Annual Mammograms: Annual mammography screenings begin at age 40, except if you have a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors.

Women should schedule mammograms for one week after their menstrual period when breast tenderness is typically less. Avoid using deodorant as it can appear as white spots on the X-ray.

Keep your annual screening appointment on the calendar—and avoid pushing it back if possible. Even a minor rescheduling decision can mean the difference between early intervention and a life-threatening diagnosis.

Twilla Eskew, mammographer at Mimbres Memorial Hospital, emphasizes the importance of consistency: “Regular breast checks empower you to notice changes. If you detect lumps, pain, or alterations in size, don’t hesitate to consult your doctor.” Reach out to your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

– A new lump on the breast or armpit

– Pain in any part of the breast

– Any discharge from the nipple other than milk

– Change in breast shape or size

– Red, irritated, or flaky skin on the nipple

If you have concerns about your breast cancer risk or want to schedule your screening, call Mimbres Memorial Hospital at 575-546-5892.

A breast cancer screening is more than a task on your to-do list; it’s a commitment to your health and well-being. Early detection improves your chance for a positive outcome, making it a vital step in breast cancer prevention and survival.

Twilla Eskew, RT (R,M)

Twilla Eskew, a registered radiology, and mammography technologist with more than 23 years of experience, is the Imaging Department’s mammographer.

Eskew obtained an Associate of Applied Sciences degree from Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas in 1995 and subsequently began her career as a radiology and mammography technologist with medical institutions in Texas.

Eskew is licensed with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART) and the Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Program (MIRTP). Eskew also has a Basic Life Support (BLS) certificate.

In her 28 years of experience, Eskew has worked in hospitals and clinics in New Mexico, Texas, California, Washington, and Alaska. Before joining Mimbres in 2021, Eskew spent 12 years as an imaging services supervisor with Menlo Medical Clinic in Menlo Park, California.

Mimbres Memorial Hospital

Mimbres Memorial Hospital is the community healthcare provider; a critical access 25–bed inpatient facility with, outpatient, medical, surgical, diagnostic, and emergency care for the southwestern New Mexico region. Additionally, Mimbres offers Short Term Rehabilitation and Long-term Care. Mimbres Memorial Hospital is located at 900 West Ash Street in Deming and can be reached by calling 575-546-5800 or online at