And sometimes it’s easy for us to put off things like a doctor’s visit or preventive screening.

But patient Lurner Hunter learned that you shouldn’t postpone what’s important for your health. Hunter, 61, has come in every year for her mammogram—until last year, when she was dealing with a family illness. Her personal physician, Brian Bautista, MD, at Kaiser Permanente’s San Bernardino Medical Offices, sent reminders, and medical assistant Monica Lopez called to set up appointments, but Hunter would postpone or cancel.

After four months, Hunter finally came in for a mammogram. The results were abnormal and a second mammogram confirmed that she had breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States after skin cancer. It’s most treatable when detected early. Dr. Bautista says women might feel too busy or be afraid of getting a mammogram.

“At Kaiser Permanente, we believe in preventive care,” he says. “So it’s important to have these routine screening mammograms done. It can save people’s lives.” Hunter went through surgery and chemotherapy and says she feels great today.

She comes in for regular follow-up mammograms. “I’m not going to skip an appointment in the future,” she says.

Kaiser Permanente recommends mammograms at least every two years for women between 40 and 49. For women between 50 and 69, we strongly encourage getting a mammogram at least every two years.