Breast Cancer Screenings
Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system
for examining the breasts. The images of the breasts can be viewed on
film at a view box or as soft copy on a digital mammography work station.
Most medical experts agree that successful treatment of breast cancer
often is linked to early diagnosis. Mammography plays a central part in
early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast
up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them. Current guidelines
from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the American
Cancer Society (ACS), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American
College of Radiology (ACR) recommend screening mammography every year
for women, beginning at age 40.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) adds that women who have had breast
cancer and those who are at increased risk due to a genetic history of
breast cancer should seek expert medical advice about whether they should
begin screening before age 40 and about the frequency of screening.
Mammography is used to aid in the diagnosis of breast diseases in women.
Screening mammography can assist your physician in the detection of disease
even if you have no complaints or symptoms.
Initial mammographic images themselves are not always enough to determine
the existence of a benign or malignant disease with certainty. If a finding
or spot seems suspicious, your radiologist may recommend further diagnostic studies.
Diagnostic mammography is used to evaluate a patient with abnormal clinical
findings, such as a breast lump or lumps, that have been found by the
woman or her doctor. Diagnostic mammography may also be done after an
abnormal screening mammography in order to determine the cause of the
area of concern on the screening exam.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women.To treat it, you must
find it. If you find it early, you have a greater chance of an accurate
diagnosis and effective treatment plan. Your very best defense is early
detection and diagnosis, made possible through an annual screening mammogram.
At Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, we commit ourselves every
day to matching our compassionate care for women with state-of-the-art
mammogram technology. That is why we now offer wide-angle 3D breast tomosynthesis.
It’s new mammography technology that gives every woman her best
chance for an early and accurate diagnosis.
THE GAME-CHANGER IN MAMMOGRAPHY
The gold standard in breast cancer screening has been digital 2D mammography.
These mammograms suffer from decreasing sensitivity in women with dense
breasts, or when breast tissue overlaps. The result can be unclear images
that leave doctors unsure of what they see, and can lead to cancers being missed.
• Up to 30% of cancers go undetected by standard mammography
• 52-76% of cancers are missed in dense breast tissue, where tumors
are more dffcult to identify
That changes with wide-angle breast tomosynthesis.
Automated Ultrasound Dense Breast Tissue Screening
Saint Mary's is proud to offer Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS),
the region's only FDA approved screening technology for dense breast
tissue. Roughly 40% of women who get an annual mammogram have dense breast
tissue. This new technology compliments traditional mammography and gives
women peace of mind knowing they have a local option to detect cancer
earlier. To find out whether you have dense breast tissue, contact your
primary care physician for a referral. Or to learn more, call 775-770-3187.