JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — Mammograms are life-saving tests a lot of women put off because they’re intimidated. But hospitals are finding new ways to make them more appealing – they’re called mammogram parties.

From the toast to the manicures and massages, it had all the makings of a celebration. But it was really a mammogram party, all decked out to make patients feel more at ease.

It was enough to persuade Terri Klinder to walk in for her first mammogram in five years.

“I have five children and work full-time, and I just keep telling myself it’s OK,” she tells CBS 2’ Pamela Jones.

Provena St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet has been hosting the parties about once a month for the past year to seek out women who have been putting off the procedure.

Whether it’s their first mammogram or not, a lot of women walk up to the machine and automatically feel nervous. This program is designed to help with that.

“We’re doing this for the women that are afraid to sit by themselves in a waiting room, worrying about the results,” Sandy Peterson of Provena says.

Along with all the partying and pampering comes education, about how finding breast cancer early saves lives.

The hospital says the parties are getting popular. They’re booked up until January.

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