The risk of breast cancer increases sharply with age, but you can improve your chances for early detection of breast cancer by adhering to these guidelines for good breast health:
- Schedule regular, yearly mammograms. Most doctors recommend that you begin having yearly mammograms at age 40.
- Have a clinical breast exam conducted by a health care professional every year.
- If warning signs appear, such as pain, a lump you can feel, or nipple discharge, see your doctor immediately.
- Talk with your doctor about other ways to reduce your risk, including proper diet and exercise.
A mammogram is a safe, low-dose X-ray that can detect irregularities in the breast, sometimes even before you or your doctor can feel a lump. In our Women’s Imaging Center, you’ll benefit from sophisticated digital mammography systems that improve your comfort, require less time and, most of all, enhance image quality to aid in the early detection of breast cancer. With digital mammography, doctors can view the X-ray on a computer screen, and can manipulate areas of concern to enlarge, brighten, and more closely study abnormalities. According to recent studies, digital mammography detects up to 28% more cancers in women 50 and younger and in women with dense breast tissue. Since there is no film to develop, exam times are shorter and follow-up tests are required less often. We also use the mammopad, a cushioned pad that will make your mammogram much more comfortable. A physician referral is required for mammograms.