Spa and Screening

Mammogram parties bring support and fun to an important chore

“Relaxing” and “mammogram” are not usually two words used together—except at Overlake Breast Health Center. Here, patients can arrange mammography parties that add day spa and social elements to this annual screening chore (425.688.5985; overlakehospital.org; available at all locations). Patients arrive to warmed robes, wine and cheese or tea and cookies, and an attentive hostess, and take turns getting checked up. Intended to curb anxiety and encourage early breast cancer detection, the parties are open to women 40 and over who have no current symptoms (lumps, bumps or redness) and a minimum of four additional patient friends, who are each encouraged to bring non-patient cheerleaders. There is no additional cost for the perks. “They’re fun!” says Betty Ann Brownlowe, a mammography technologist who performs the exams at these gatherings. “Patients can take care of this chore in a more casual, less structured environment.” So far, Overlake averages about two parties a month with about six or seven patients plus their friends and family. Overlake’s Bellevue Screening Center is the only location that offers 3D mammograms, making it particularly popular with patients so far.

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