October is Mammogram Month

Let’s face it just say the word “boobs” and all ears are listening.  Men have a fascination with them, women tolerate them, obsess about them and either want them bigger or smaller.  But when it comes to protecting the "boobs", women cringe at the thought of having them poked, squeezed and exposed to some stranger during a mammogram.  But like it or not mammograms are the best way for women to protect themselves against breast cancer.  Yearly exams will show any changes in breast tissue and can be compared to past films to see if changes have occurred.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and diagnostic centers in many facilities offer low cost exams. The closest to the beach area is SYMSA Central Medico and Diagnostico in La Chorrera, who are offering Mammograms in October for $25.  

I had a mammogram done there last year and plan to go back again this year. The technician was a professional older woman. I was familiar with the routine and equipment  used from having experienced it in the US. Once completed, the results are picked up the next day by the patient and include a typed interpretation in Spanish, along with the actual films.  Last year I had an order from a doctor, although the clinic said it’s not needed.  But things could have changed, so when you call for an appointment ask wether you need to have a Doctor's order before you make the long drive to La Chorrera.

SYMSA is located on the main road into La Chorrera on the right hand side near the El Rey.  It’s behind a busy bus stop and can be easily missed if you’re not watching for it.  Central Medico and Diagnostico Center Mammogram Prices:  Normal price: $60.00, with pensionado discount, $48.00, October special $25.00 with no discount. Call for appointments at:  345-4455 or 345-1156.  
If you want a mammogram and cannot afford one, Funda Cancer offers free mammograms every day of the year for low income Panamanian families. To support Funda Cancer in their efforts visit: www.fundacancer.org