PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — October is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and the message is clear, early detection can save lives.

Army Veteran Roxanne Robinson cut the ribbon for the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center’s Mammography Suite.

She was one of the first patients to come for an appointment.

“Actually, when I had my mammography here, they told me right on the spot that they didn’t see anything so I’m really, really happy about that,” said Robinson.

The state-of-the-art facility is spacious and private. It offers a wide range of women’s imaging services and convenient access to ultrasounds.

“We try our best to evaluate the mammograms immediately by the radiologist so we can then coordinate with our ultrasound technologist. The patient can go right from mammography through a private bathroom into the ultrasound private room,” Dr. Gisele Lafond, Radiologist at Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center.

The suite is open to male Veterans who need care as well. Roxanne and her mom Maureen are advocates for routine breast screenings.

“I go. I just get up and go. And I would invite my friends, encourage them to do the same, them and their daughters,” said Maureen Howard, Roxanne Robinson’s mother.

Early detection is crucial to preventing and treating breast cancer.

“I would say, give it a try. It’s not gonna hurt, it doesn’t hurt. It’s not invasive, just give it a try. You’ll be fine, just do it. It’s important, it’s important for your life,” added Robinson.

The American Cancer Society recommends mammography breast cancer screening every year for women ages 50-54.

And for women ages 55 and older screenings should be every 1-2 years.