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10:08 AM Wed, Sept. 19th

In the Pink: Make sure your mammograms move when you do

Keep your medical records with you.

Photo by The Daily Courier .

Keep your medical records with you.

PRESCOTT – When you move to a new city, what happens to your medical records?

Nancy Ledoyen, the clinical navigator at Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s BreastCare Center, said patients, especially where women’s breast health is concerned, need to make sure those records come along on the move.

Ledoyen said that, when the BreastCare Center receives a referral for a mammogram from the doctor of a patient who recently relocated to the Quad Cities, they ask for the results of prior mammograms.

“And they’ll (say), ‘Ah, I don’t remember where it was or when it was—it’s not important,’” she said. “It’s hugely important.”

The problem is, breast tissue is almost like a fingerprint, in that it’s unique to that woman.

“When they don’t give us anything to compare to, we have no idea what that fingerprint normally looks like,” she said, and if a radiologist looking at the x-ray sees anything at all, the patient will likely be called back in for more testing.

“Because we don’t have any baseline, we don’t have any track record, what if we miss something?” Ledoyen asked. “The whole point of getting regular mammograms is so you can pick up those really subtle changes.”

She said it’s a common practice for a patient to go to where they had the imaging done and ask to have the images put on a CD-ROM disc.

If that’s impossible, for whatever reason, the patient can tell the BreastCare Center that they’ve just moved here and give them the contact information so YRMC can request it themselves.

“Do it right away while it’s still fresh in your mind,” Ledoyen said. “That way, if your mammogram’s not due for nine months, it’s no biggie.”