Breast cancer is still the most common cancer in women. However, the chances of surviving breast cancer are higher the earlier it is detected and treated. Self-examinations and regular screenings are the best way to detect changes in your anatomy.
Contribute actively to early detection with self-examinations by examining your breasts one week after your menstrual cycle has begun. Check your breasts carefully and pay attention to changes. Speak to your gynecologist or physician about any findings.
Additionally, your physician will perform a physical breast examination at your annual exam. If the physical examination performed by a physician detects anything suspicious, they will refer you for a mammography, an ultrasound scan, and/or magnetic resonance imaging.
Mammography is the most common method for detecting breast cancer and initial tumor stages.
A mammogram is an X-ray image of your breast. During a mammography screening, the breast is positioned between the X-ray tube and a detector and carefully pushed down with a compression plate. The optimal amount of compression is applied to maintain the highest image quality, allowing the radiologist to detect any abnormal findings or lesions between tissue.
Superior mammography uses wide-angle tomosynthesis to see more of your breast, helping to detect suspicious findings easier.
3. Other imaging techniques
Mammography is the standard examination in the detection and monitoring of breast cancer but sometimes, other tests may be needed.
An ultrasound scan is often performed in addition to the mammogram for women with dense breast tissue. This radiation-free method is often ideal to clarify breast pain or other suspicious symptoms.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an examination for women who may need additional screening after a mammogram, with significant breast cancer risk, and/or particularly dense breast tissue.
If the radiologist sees an abnormality during the exam, they might perform a biopsy.
A breast biopsy is an outpatient procedure with minimal preparation and recovery time. During the biopsy, a small tissue sample is collected to be sent to pathology for testing and a diagnosis. The procedure allows the physician to analyze an area of concern closer. Approximately 80% of women who have biopsies have results that come back benign (not cancer).
Learn more about mammography at IPMC Medical Center.
Learn more about MAMMOMAT Revelation’s 3D wide-angle breast tomosynthesis at IPMC Medical Center.
To schedule a mammogram at IPMC, call 214-464-3300.