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Cheers to good health! Mobile mammogram bus adds fun to annual exams

WOODINVILLE - Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women in Washington, according to the state department of health.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so one hospital is making it more comfortable for women to get mammograms with their mobile mammogram bus and pairing the experience with wine tasting.

It’s girl’s night for Lynn Phillips and her friend at DeLille Cellars in Woodinville.

“I come out here every year with one of my bosom buddies,” said Phillips.

They call each other bosom buddies because they met a few years ago while getting mammograms inside Evergreen Health’s mobile mammogram bus.

“It was easier than in a hospital room, ‘cause it as laid back. We were in and out in 15 minutes and then you get to have wine, who doesn’t love that,” said Phillips.

“It just brings some levity to an otherwise pretty heavy topic,” said Dr. Karen Stone, medical director of breast imaging at Evergreen Health.

“We’re one of the few sights in Puget sound to have 3-D imaging,” she added.

Stone says if breast cancer runs in your family you should get screened before the recommended age of 40, otherwise annual exams are still the best method for cancer detection.

“There’s a reduction in mortality, 30-40%, that’s significant. That means lives saved,” said Stone.

That reduction in mortality is critical in Washington state where we have one of the highest rates of newly diagnosed breast cancer in the country.

“There’s all sorts of things going around, is it because of low vitamin-D levels, certainly we all wonder that. I know there is research being done, but it’s still an unknown, but it is absolutely true and even more necessary that women in the Pacific Northwest get annual mammogram screenings,” said Stone.

For Phillips, “I’m 52 years old,” she said adding she’s been getting her check-up out here every year.

“It so eases it. You just have to do it, bite the bullet and get it done,” said Phillips.

And if you can get screened and sip on some wine, all the more reason to cheers to good health.