Be Your Breast Self: Easy Ways to Detect (and Prevent) Breast Cancer

September 26, 2017   Preventative Care

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Here’s an astounding fact: one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. As medicine evolves, researchers develop new tools to diagnose breast cancer in its earliest stages. The newest technology being used to detect breast abnormalities is 3D Mammography, allowing doctors to take multiple images of breast tissue and recreate an accurate 3D picture of the breast.

Know the symptoms

Breast cancer begins with almost no noticeable symptoms. Often, the most detectable symptom is lumps or bumps in the breast tissue that can be felt with the bare hand. Ladies, in addition to scheduling your yearly screening it is important to do breast self-exams throughout the year. Self-exams can be done by moving the tips of your fingers in a circular motion around your entire breasts, checking for lumps and bumps. Other abnormalities to look for during self-exams are:

  • Swelling of all or part of the breast
  • Skin irritation or dimpling
  • Breast pain
  • Nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
  • Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
  • Discharge of the nipple
  • A lump in the underarm area

If you experience or notice any of these symptoms, contact your physician immediately.

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Detection

Yearly screenings save lives. In fact, 90% of women diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer survive beyond five years after diagnosis. Mammography is the most effective screening tool used to identify abnormalities and breast cancer. Here are a few things to know about mammograms:

  • Women should begin yearly screenings at the age of 40
  • Mammograms last approximately 20 minutes
  • Stay loyal: after finding a testing facility you trust, go there every year to have results compared
  • Avoid wearing antiperspirant to your appointment, as it is detectable on the image
  • Additional Imaging results do not always mean cancer
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3D Mammography

Innovative technology now allows doctors to capture 3D (rather than 2D) images of the breast. 3D Mammography™ gives physicians a better picture of a patient's breast tissue, resulting in earlier detection and fewer false alarms. We are excited to announce, as of November 1st, Garrison Women's Health will be offering 3D Mammography exams to the Seacoast community.

 

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Sue Letourneau, RTRM, CDT

Annual screening mammograms over forty years of age save lives!

— Sue Letourneau, RTRM, CDT

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