Medical Minute: Breast Cancer Screening
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. women and is the second-leading cause of death among women after lung cancer,” according to a study published in an American Cancer Society medical journal. While breast cancer primarily affects women, men have a 1 in 833 risk of developing breast cancer.
Donnamarie Packer, MD, general surgeon with OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital and OhioHealth Shelby Hospital, explained, the most common risk factors are family history and history of hormone exposure. “We are concerned about those have had children later in life, who started menopause later in life, who had long-term birth control exposure, hormonal replacement therapy exposure during menopause, and patients who have had extreme family history with first degree relatives, such as a parent or sibling,” she added.
Dr. Packer recommended that all women focus on annual screening mammograms when they reach the age of 40. Mammograms can reveal nearly 90 percent of breast cancers as early as 2 years before a lump can be felt. The mammogram appointment generally takes 30 minutes or less, and no referral is necessary for a screening mammography for women 40 and older.
Mansfield Hospital and Shelby Hospital offer advanced 3D digital mammography, known as breast tomosynthesis. A screening mammogram allows for baseline image to be collected, so subsequent screening mammograms can be compared for any changes.
“3D mammography allows a radiologist to have some clearer pictures and hopefully be able to detect cancers when they are even smaller and earlier staged,” explained Dr. Packer. “There are some cases when we do recommend getting an MRI of both breasts for patients who are higher risk or have very dense tissue. An MRI can also be obtained here.”
The OhioHealth Breast Cancer Program provides support from diagnosis to treatment to survivorship. The program includes early detection through screenings, advanced treatment options, multidisciplinary collaboration among cancer experts, including those from MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a patient navigator who provides personalized assistance throughout your cancer journey, Breast Cancer Second Opinion Clinic for extensive case review and treatment recommendations, High Risk Breast Clinic to understand and manage your breast cancer risk, cancer survivorship and supportive care, cancer genetic counseling and testing, and access to the latest research and clinical trials.
To get in touch with a cancer specialist who can answer your questions and help connect you to screening options close to home, contact OhioHealth CancerCall Monday-Friday, 8 AM-5 PM at (800) 752-9119.