Recent research findings and changes in breast cancer screening guidelines have left many women wondering when they should receive a mammogram. Some women wonder if they need a mammogram at all.
Specialists at PinnacleHealth Breast Care Center are committed to following current screening recommendations from the American Cancer Society which state that:
The American Cancer Society also recommends yearly mammograms and breast MRI for women who:
Other women who may be advised to receive breast MRI's are those who have:
Our Breast Care Center team will work with you to help you determine your risk profile and your best screening options.
For more information or to schedule a mammogram, call 717-230-3700.
Many women have heard the term "dense breasts" but few understand what this means. Nor do they understand how it increases the chance of a missed breast cancer diagnosis. Specialists at UPMC Pinnacle Breast Care Center offer the following information to help you understand this term and what it means for you.
Breasts are made up of glandular tissue (ducts and lobules), fatty tissue and fibrous (dense) tissue. When you have dense breasts it means that you have more fibrous tissue than fatty tissue in your breast. The amount of fibrous tissue may decrease and the amount of fatty tissue may increase as you age. Breast density may remain the same for some women.
Having dense breasts can be a very common and normal finding. Having very dense breasts may make it difficult to read a standard mammogram. This has been associated with an increased risk for breast cancer.
Breast density is not directly related to breast size or body mass index. There are some studies that suggest that weight and breast density are two independent risk factors for breast cancer.
Breast density is measured by mammogram findings. Radiologists will compare the amount of fatty tissue to the amount of dense breast tissue and will place you in one of four categories. These range from mostly fatty tissue to extremely dense breast tissue. A woman whose breasts are classified as heterogeneously dense or extremely dense is considered to have dense breasts.
Talk to your doctor if your mammogram report says you have dense breasts. Your doctor can help you understand your risk factors for breast cancer. Your doctor can also help you decide which screening test is right for you. Digital tomosynthesis may be able provide better pictures of your breast because it views the breast from more dimensions. This test is also called 3D mammogram. You may also qualify for breast MRIs. Be sure to talk with your doctor about your risk factors and how you can lower your risk for breast cancer.
Having dense breasts is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. We aren't sure why though.
Diet and exercise do not alter breast density. They have been shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer.
There are many ways to lower your risk of breast cancer. These include:
UPMC Pinnacle Breast Care Center offers comprehensive breast and breast cancer care. This includes risk assessment and screenings for breast cancer, breast cancer treatment and then survivorship services. All of this is provided in an attentive and compassionate environment.
Our team includes breast surgeons, medical oncologists, nurse practitioners and a genetic counselor. These specialists work together to deliver the best and highest quality of care. We also have a wonderful team of nurse navigators who work closely with patients to help guide their care during their treatment journey.
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