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Regular Breast Screening Beginning at Age 40 Key to Saving Lives
Lexington, Ky. (October 9, 2015) – Early detection is key, and both the American Cancer Society and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommend annual breast cancer mammogram screenings for all women age 40 and older, and earlier for those with family history or other medical concerns. KentuckyOne Health offers a number of breast screening solutions for women in Fayette and surrounding counties.
“It’s important to talk to your physician about which course of screening is right for you based on family history and other risk factors,” said Kimberly Stigers, MD, radiologist from KentuckyOne Health Breast Care at Saint Joseph East. “What’s most important though, is that you get screened every year, beginning at age 40. Early detection continues to be key to saving lives.”
There are two basic screening options that may be recommended. First, there is digital mammography, which has all but replaced traditional film mammography due to its speed and easy storage. Traditional, 2-D digital mammography can be manipulated by the radiologist to get a better view of shadows, light and contrast. This can help identify whether a spot is a mass that needs to be investigated further, or simply an area of dense breast tissue. The radiation dose from 2-D digital mammography is slightly less than previous film screening technology.
Digital mammography is available at 20 KentuckyOne Health facilities across the Commonwealth, including Saint Joseph East, KentuckyOne Health Office Park, KentuckyOne Health Imaging – Tates Creek and Saint Joseph Jessamine. Four area locations, including Saint Joseph East and KentuckyOne Health Imaging – Tates Creek, now also offer 3-D mammography.
Tomosynthesis, more commonly known as 3-D mammography, was approved by the FDA in 2011 and has become another valuable tool in breast cancer detection. Tomosynthesis creates multiple slices of the breast tissue, giving reviewing physicians a clear vision of a mass that may be clouded by complex, overlapping breast tissue. This tool is especially useful for women with moderate to extremely dense breast tissue.
This technology can also help reduce the number of patients called back for a second test after screening, since dense breast tissue can sometimes cause a false positive in traditional mammography.
“Tomosynthesis is an optional service for the patient, which supplements the traditional mammography images,” said Lane Roland, MD, University of Louisville Director of Breast Imaging at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, part of KentuckyOne Health. “It’s important to talk to your doctor to determine the best course for you.”
Kentucky has among the highest breast cancer death rates in the U.S., but regular screening is key to moving the needle and saving lives. For more information, or to schedule a screening, call 859-967-5613.