BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Early detection is crucial in the fight against breast cancer, and LifeBridge Health is helping raise awareness by hosting their annual Mammothon screening event.

The Mammothon encourages women across Maryland to get their annual mammogram Thursday, making it more convenient with extended hours and six different locations.

The third annual Mammothon screened more than 150 women during an all-day event dedicated to beating breast cancer.

“Get people out there that normally wouldn’t come in for a mammogram and to be aware and share with other people, it’s an important test that needs to be followed through and done,” said Wanda Merryman, a mammographer tech.

Northwest Hospital was one of the six different locations, with extended morning and evening hours to give women the opportunity to fit a mammogram into their busy schedules.

“There are people who have to work, I am retired, but cannot afford to take a day off from work to come and get this done,” said Francesa Brooks in Baltimore City.

LifeBridge Health recommends women to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms at the age of 40.

“It is set up like a spa-like atmosphere so that it’s kind of warm and friendly and all of our patients we try to make it as warm and friendly and all our patients and all of our patients we try to make them comfortable and make it a good experience,” Merryman said.

Breast cancer survivor and hospital volunteer Karen Vaden said she knows the importance of early detection and encourages everyone to make their health a priority.

“As women, we spend a lot of time taking care of our family and friends and we owe it to ourselves to give it a gift of taking care of me, to me once a year,” Vaden said.

Over the last three years, more than 300 women have participated in the annual Mammothon.

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