After a mammogram, many women crave some pampering, whether it's lunch, shopping or a spa visit.
And while some bring their mother or sister for the test and the treat afterward, the idea of getting the girls together for a night of music, free manicures -- and, oh yes, five minutes in the close embrace of the mammogram machine -- is a new one here.
The pioneers are Southtowns Radiology at 3050 Orchard Park Road, West Seneca, and its neighbor, Blu Spa and Salon at 3030 Orchard Park Road, which are joining forces to offer an evening of self-care, from an important preventative test to a new coat of OPI polish on the nails.
"Studies and doctors agree that early detection is key to fighting breast cancer, and mammograms are the very best tool we have," said Emilie Riester, client relations representative at Southtowns Radicology. "We're asking women to not only take responsibility for their own mammograms, but to remind each other to get it done."
Bringing all her girls can help an anxious woman, said Riester. "Quite a few of the mammograms we've done have been the women's first ones."
Three groups have already had the mammograms and manicures, said Nicole Boyd, Blu spa manager. "Mammograms are never fun, but when you do it with a group of friends, you can talk and joke and it makes it much more pleasant," she said.
Parties for four to six women are booked every Wednesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Southtowns Radiology. One woman in the group should call Southtowns Radiology at 558-5407 with everyone's names and phone numbers. On the day of the "mammoparty," each woman should bring a prescription from her doctor and an insurance card, if she has coverage.
If a woman does not have coverage or her co-pay is too high, Southtowns Radiology works with community programs that pay for mammograms, including Partners for Prevention Cancer Screening Services of Erie County, which can be reached at 886-9201.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women 40 and older have an annual mammogram.
Southtowns Radiology will offer snacks and noncaffeinated soft drinks before the exam, and the spa can offer music and refreshments during the manicures. The mammograms will be read the next day.
The concept of the "mammoparty" started last year in Florida, and the staff of Southtowns Radiology thought it might work here, Riester said.