USA Olympian encourages routine mammograms during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

USA volleyball Olympian April Ross is teaming up with GE Healthcare Systems in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month to highlight the importance of routine mammograms in early detection of the disease. Ross joined “America’s Newsroom” on Tuesday, urging patients to make their appointments. 

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“The biggest thing you can do for yourself and as part of your overall wellness routine, self-care is go get your mammogram,” Ross told co-host Dana Perino. “And there were up to 60 percent of people, especially last year with the pandemic, that didn’t go in and didn’t get their mammograms.”

“So this is a little bit of a PSA. Get back in there.”

Ross commended the alliance with GE, highlighting the organization for producing new technology designed to make the experience more comfortable for patients everywhere. 

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“They’ve made this new machine, the Pristina, and it’s made by women, for women, it’s patient-centric, and it’s supposed to make the experience just a little bit more comfortable,” Ross explained. “It’s ergonomic, you have control, you actually hold a remote, you can control the amount of pressure that is being used and there’s a little bit of an ambiance with it.”

According to GE Healthcare, the Pristina system places the utmost control over the exam in the hands of the patient, and was created to reshape the traditional design which many find uncomfortable. 

“It feels a little bit more like you’re at a spa than a doctor’s office,” Ross stated. “It’s supposed to encourage people to not only stay on their annual mammograms but maybe come in and get it done for the first time and not be so intimidated by the experience.”

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The gold medalist lost her mother to breast cancer two decades ago, and reiterated the importance of early detection and how it can save lives. 

“I wish she had access to this stuff, and so the fact that we have all of this to help us out, we’ve got to take advantage of it,” Ross said. 

“I miss her so much, so that’s part of the reason… why I’m doing this,” she explained. “I want to turn my experience and her experience into something that can help other people.”

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