Early detection can mean the difference between life and death.
As we recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Trinity Hospital Twin City sending out a reminder regarding local services and screening options available. Breast cancer screenings involve checking a woman’s breasts for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States Preventive Services Task Forceexternal Icon (USPSTF) recommends that women who are 50 to 74 years old and are at average risk for breast cancer get a mammogram every two years. Women who are 40 to 49 years old should talk to their doctor or other health care professional about when to start and how often to get a mammogram.
Although breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat.
Breast Cancer Screening Tests
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. At this time, a mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer for most women.
Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
A breast MRI uses magnets and radio waves to take pictures of the breast. MRI is used along with mammograms to screen women who are at high risk for getting breast cancer. Because breast MRIs may appear abnormal even when there is no cancer, they are not used for women at average risk.
Clinical Breast Exam
A clinical breast exam is an examination by a doctor or nurse, who uses his or her hands to feel for lumps or other changes.
Being familiar with how your breasts look and feel can help you notice symptoms such as lumps, pain, or changes in size that may be of concern. These could include changes found during a breast self-exam. You should report any changes that you notice to your doctor or health care provider.
Having a clinical breast exam or doing a breast self-exam has not been found to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer.