October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a great time to schedule a mammogram | Local News
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a great time to schedule a mammogram, the best tool available for early detection of breast cancer.
“When the cancer is small and easier to treat in its early stages,” said Dr Dan Phillips, a radiologist with the Rome Radiology group who has lived in Rome for 13 years.
He was one of the founding chief physicians of the Breast Center at Floyd and is the principal interpreter for breast imaging.
“Organizations, including the Society of Breast Imaging and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, recommend that women at average risk have screening mammograms every year starting at age 40,” Phillips said. “Now imagine all the women who missed their mammograms this year because of the pandemic. Not having a mammogram can allow stage 1 small cancer to progress to stage 2. This is even more important for our high risk women.
Floyd provides mammography services at Floyd’s Breast Center, Polk Medical Center, Cherokee Medical Center and through Floyd’s Mobile Mammography Coach. With our Know in 24 promise, patients can be assured of rapid screening results and quick access to additional care when needed.
It is important to understand the different types of mammograms and why they are done.
♦ A screening mammogram is used to check for breast changes in women who do not have any signs or symptoms of breast cancer.
During a screening mammogram, most women receive two to three x-rays of each breast, with each x-ray taking about 20 to 30 seconds. An abnormal mammogram will often be followed by additional breast imaging and possibly a breast biopsy. A breast biopsy takes a small amount of breast tissue so that a pathologist can assess the tissue and look for breast cancer cells.
♦ A diagnostic mammogram is used to assess breast irregularity.
New breast lumps, skin changes, or a targeted area of the breast should be promptly evaluated by a healthcare provider.
Diagnostic mammograms are often done in conjunction with a breast ultrasound to fully assess a breast problem.
♦ About 8% to 10% of all mammograms show some type of breast abnormality that requires further evaluation. Only about 20% of these abnormalities will lead to a diagnosis of breast cancer.
“If you’ve missed or postponed your mammogram this year due to COVID-19, now is the time to take care of yourself,” Phillips said. “Be proactive. Call your preferred facility and schedule your mammogram today. It’s not too late.”