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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Editorial by Mary W. Poole

Every year over 200,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer, over 14,000 new cases in Texas alone. Every year breast cancer that has spread from the breast to other parts of the body kills about 40,000 women. When breast cancer is detected early—before it has spread—it is easier to treat and patients have a much better chance of survival because treatment can be started earlier in the course of the disease. Fortunately, more men and women are surviving breast cancer today thanks to better screening and early detection. For now, 3D mammograms is the best way to screen for breast cancer.

Forty million mammograms are performed each year, and the technology is evolving. Now women and men in Orange County have the most advanced technology for detection with 3D mammograms. 3D mammograms, also known as tomosynthesis or “tomo,” use the same x-ray technology as regular “2D” mammograms. The procedure is the same from the patient’s point-of-view, although it will take a few seconds longer. In both 3D and 2D mammograms, the breast is compressed between two plates. In 2D mammograms, which take images only from the front and side, this may create images with overlapping breast tissue. Because 3D mammography provides images of the breast in “slices” from many different angles, finding abnormalities and determining which abnormalities may be important may be easier with 3D tests.

Benefits of 3D Mammography

  • 3D mammography exams allow doctors better visualization and are clinically superior to traditional mammograms
  • 3D mammography exams allow patients to avoid unnecessary callbacks for more tests
  • 3D mammography exams give patients peace of mind
  • 3D mammography exams help doctors detect invasive cancers earlier than ever before
  • 3D mammography exams are better for women of all ages and breast-tissue density types

When to get a mammogram is a personal decision between you and your doctor. If you are over 40, talk to your doctor about when you should begin mammogram screening. If you have a close family member who developed breast cancer at an early age, you may need to consider screening at a younger age. To schedule your 3D mammogram at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas – Orange Campus, please call 883-1196. A physician order is required for diagnostic mammograms. No physician order is required for screening mammograms.

 

Mary W. Poole is Director Public Relations at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas