Breast Care: Breast Cancer Screening

Mammogram

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 226, 870 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year, and approximately 39,510 women will die from the disease.

To detect this deadly disease early when it is most treatable, medical professionals have developed a set of breast cancer screening modalities and have provided recommendations to patients regarding breast care and when to get tested. While there is some disagreement between organizations about when to start screening and how often to do so, the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) agree that women with no symptoms or family history of breast cancer should have a mammogram performed every two years between the ages of 40 and 49. Women between the ages of 50 and 74 should be tested every year.

Current breast cancer screening options include mammography, breast exam by a healthcare provider, and the breast self-exam.

  • Mammography
    Mammograms use x-ray technology to form an image of the breast. Digital mammography provides clear pictures of the breast to help identify small tumors or lumps that cannot be felt during a physical exam.
     
  • Breast exam by a healthcare provider
    During a routine physical, your physician may give you a breast exam to check for any abnormalities, areas of inflammation, or lumps.
     
  • Breast self-exam
    Performed in front of the mirror, in the shower, or lying down, this series of thorough tests should be performed at least once a month to detect any changes in the breast tissue .

If you would like to learn more about the ACS and ACOG recommendations for breast cancer screening, speak with your physician or contact Regional Medical Center of San Jose at (408) 259-4000. Our Breast Care Center offers digital mammography, PET/CT scanning, breast ultrasound, and many other breast care services, with MRI to be added soon.

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