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Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis: Mammogram and Clinical Breast Exam

Breast Cancer Screening
Breast cancer screening looks for signs of cancer before a woman has symptoms. Screening can help find breast cancer early, when the chance of successful treatment is best. Two tests are commonly used to screen for breast cancer:

Mammogram. A low-dose x-ray exam of the breasts to look for changes that are not normal. The National Cancer Institute recommends that women age 40 and older have screening mammograms every one to two years. Depending on factors such as family history and your general health, your doctor may recommend a mammogram before age 40 or more often.

Clinical breast exam (CBE). The doctor looks at and feels the breasts and under the arms for lumps or anything else that seems unusual. Ask your doctor if you need a CBE.

Regular screening is the best way to find breast cancer early in most women. If you are at higher risk of breast cancer, your doctor might want to use other tests too, such as a different type of mammogram or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

It is important to let your doctor know if you find any changes in your breast, such as a lump or dimpling or puckering of the skin. Although research results do not support an official recommendation that all women conduct breast self-exams, knowing your body is key to pointing out any concerns to your doctor.

St. Bernard Hospital is offering free mammograms to uninsured women living in the Englewood and West Englewood Neighborhoods as part of the Screen to Live Initiative. Enrollment is coordinated exclusively through the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force. Women interested in the screenings should phone the Task Force at (312) 942-1899.

Diagnosing Breast Cancer
Screening tests look for signs of cancer. If a screening mammogram or CBE shows a breast change that could be cancer, additional tests are needed to learn more. These tests might include:

Diagnostic mammogram. This type of mammogram uses x-rays to take more detailed images of areas that look abnormal on a screening mammogram.

Ultrasound exam. Sound waves help your doctor see if a lump is solid (could be cancer) or filled with fluid (a fluid-filled sac that is not cancer).

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer are used to create detailed pictures of areas inside the breast. MRI may be used if enlarged lymph nodes or lumps are found during a clinical breast exam that are not seen on a mammogram or ultrasound.

Breast biopsy. Fluid or tissue is removed from the breast and checked for cancer cells. There are many types of biopsy. A biopsy is the only test to find out if cells are cancer.

Not all women who have abnormal screening test results need to have a biopsy. Sometimes, doctors can rule out cancer based on the results of follow-up tests without biopsy.

Finding out about "abnormal" breast changes can be scary. Talk to your doctor about what tests you might need and what the test results mean. If you learn that you have cancer, your doctor can help you move forward and begin treatment.

Clinical information provided by the Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

Keywords: Breast Cancer, Health and Fitness, Health Screening, healthcare, Healthy Living in Englewood, Women's Health

Posted in Health, Education


6:15 AM
Jan 16, 2015
Patrick Donahue says:

Every year in U.S more than 230,000 women are affected by breast cancer. It is due to age, certain inherited genetic mutations and hereditary. Lump in the breast, nipple discharge, breast pain are some usual symptoms of this problem. Spreading awareness about breast cancer screening will identify this problem at an early and treatable stage.

Various devices like you can see on and other are available for screening of cancer and other diseases that protect thousands of live.

No doubt mammography is one of the most highly used screening modality to detect this problem effectively.

There are various treatment used for it’s diagnose such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy etc. which usually depend on the nature of problem.

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