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Taking Doctor's Advice to get Mammogram Proved Wise
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Taking Doctor's Advice to get Mammogram Proved Wise


Teammate at The Breast Center Glad She Didn't Wait

ROME, Ga., April 5, 2024 Tammy Cowan wasn't even sure if she should get a mammogram 12 years ago. She was only 44 years old but decided to listen to her doctor. She is glad she did.

“My doctor told me I should, but I was thinking I had to be 50. That was my first mammogram," said Cowan, who is now a medical assistant at The Breast Center at Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center.

She got her scan performed on the Mobile Mammography Coach, the rolling unit that carries Floyd's breast health services to underserved areas of northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama.​

The unit is outfitted with a state-of-the-art, digital mammography machine and staffed by clinicians who are specially trained in screening mammography. It offers a unique advantage for those who need a mammogram but want to minimize lost work time because of travel requirements.

That mammogram revealed she had inflammatory breast cancer, which can often go undiagnosed and accounts for only 1​% to 5 % of all breast cancer cases.

“It was literally something the radiologist saw. If I had not had a mammogram, it would not have been detected early," Cowan said.

Now she gets an MRI and mammogram every year at The Breast Center, where she has worked as a medical assistant for five years.

She said her experience helps her offer comfort and support to patients.

“When we do genetic testing with new patients, I'm usually the one who goes in and talks to them before the nurse practitioner. They usually tell me they feel so much better seeing me and knowing that I had breast cancer, too."

Cowan has only good things to say to patients about The Breast Center, and not just because she works there.

“I tell them it's wonderful, of course. When I came here as a patient, they were wonderful and helped me work through it. And now, I work here, and I have been on both sides."

She has a daughter who just turned 28. Because of her health history, her daughter will start getting an annual mammogram at 34.

Cowan said she is vocal about the importance of getting an annual mammogram.

“I have had several friends at my church and my Bible study group ask me 'Why would I even want to know?'" I always tell them I was 44 when I had my first mammogram and if I had waited until I was 55, it would have been a lot worse."

The Breast Center Floyd first opened its doors in 2008, setting a new standard for providing quality screening diagnostic care in a timely manner.

The center is recognized by national leaders in breast health care for quality and commitment to patients. One of those commitments is the unique Know in 24 promise, a pledge to provide same-day or next-day results for women receiving a mammogram.

For more information about services or to schedule an appointment, visit or call 706-509-6840.

About Atrium Health Floyd
The Atrium Health Floyd family of health care services is a leading medical provider and economic force in northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama. Atrium Health Floyd is part of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Advocate Health, the third-largest nonprofit health system in the United States, created from the combination of Atrium Health and Advocate Aurora Health. Atrium Health Floyd employs more than 3,500 teammates who provide care in over 40 medical specialties at three hospitals: Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center – a 304-bed full-service, acute care hospital and regional referral center in Rome, Georgia; Atrium Health Floyd Polk Medical Center in Cedartown, Georgia; and Atrium Health Floyd Cherokee Medical Center in Centre, Alabama; as well as Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center Behavioral Health – a freestanding 53-bed behavioral health facility in Rome – and also primary care and urgent care network locations throughout northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama. Atrium Health Floyd also operates a stand-alone emergency department in Chattooga County, the first such facility to be built from the ground-up in Georgia.

About Advocate Health 
Advocate Health is the third-largest nonprofit integrated health system in the United States – created from the combination of Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health. Providing care under the names Advocate Health Care in Illinois, Atrium Health in the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama, and Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, Advocate Health is a national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience and value-based care, with Wake Forest University School of Medicine serving as the academic core of the enterprise. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Advocate Health serves nearly 6 million patients and is engaged in hundreds of clinical trials and research studies. It is nationally recognized for its expertise in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, pediatrics and rehabilitation, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. Advocate Health employs nearly 155,000 team members across 68 hospitals and over 1,000 care locations and offers one of the nation's largest graduate medical education programs with over 2,000 residents and fellows across more than 200 programs. Committed to equitable care for all, Advocate Health provides nearly $6 billion in annual community benefits.