My Blue Dots Blog

Breast Cancer Screening

Breast Cancer Screening

July 29, 2015

Breast cancer screening is one of the best ways to discover cancer at an early stage. Early detection and early treatment increases survival rate and improve the quality of life of breast cancer survivors. There are several ways to screen for breast cancer:

1. Mammogram – this is the most common type of screen test. Mammogram entails an X-ray of the breast and can find tumors too small to detect by hand. However, mammograms are not as effective in finding breast tumors in women younger than 50 years, perhaps because younger women have denser breast tissue that may result in inconclusive X-ray results.

2. Clinical breast exam – this is an exam performed by trained health professors and entails carefully feeling the breasts and under the arms to detect lumps. However, unlike mammograms, there’s no clinical evidence of clinical breast exam decreasing the mortality rate from breast cancer. Self breast exams may also be performed at home. Please notify your doctor if you detect any abnormal lumps or bumps.

3. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) – this is an exam using radio waves to capture a collection of detailed pictures inside the body. MRI is usually used to screen for breast cancer in women with high risk genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, a family history of breast cancer, or certain genetic syndromes such as Li-Fraumeni or Cowden syndrome. MRI is more sensitive at detecting breast cancer than mammograms, but it is likely that MRI may show signs of breast cancer when the subject does not actually have breast cancer.

Article and picture source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0032597/