Detecting and Diagnosing Breast Cancer
Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Programs
These programs help women receive the screening and diagnostic services needed to detect early signs of breast and cervical cancer. Find out if you qualify.
Early detection increases treatment options and saves lives. Genesis Cancer Care Institute uses the latest technology in the hope of detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages.
Three Steps to Early Detection
The American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen for the Cure recommended screening guidelines are referred to as a triad, or 3-step approach to early detection of breast cancer.
- Monthly performance of breast self-examination (BSE). Becoming familiar with the look and feel of your breasts will help determine what is normal for you and help you recognize a change.
- Clinical breast examination (CBE) by a healthcare provider at least every 3 years beginning at age 20 and annually after age 40.
- Annual screening mammogram beginning at age 40. Women under age 40 with a family history of breast cancer or other concerns about personal risk should consult with a healthcare provider about individual risk assessment and when to begin mammography.
This plan will help you take an active role in your breast health. Early detection and treatment offer the best chance of surviving breast cancer. When breast cancer is confined to the breast, the 5-year survival rate is over 95%.
It is not enough to simply begin having your mammograms at age 40. You must make a lifelong commitment, to yourself and your breast health, to continue annual mammography. By continuing to have your annual mammograms, subtle changes in your breast tissue can be identified sooner. A breast cancer that is not diagnosed until it is large enough to be felt may have already spread to other parts of your body. Breast cancer that has spread outside of the breast tissue is much more difficult to treat.
Early detection is your best protection.
For more information visit Susan G. Komen for the Cure or the American Cancer Society
The Power of Self
Proper Breast Self-Examination can make a difference in terms of early detection.
Digital mammography uses computers and specially designed digital detectors to produce an image that can be displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor, and transmitted and stored just like computer files.
From a patient’s point of view, having a digital mammogram is very much like having a conventional screenfilm mammogram. Unlike film-based mammography, digital mammograms produce images that appear on the technologist’s monitor in a matter of seconds. There is no waiting for film to develop, which means results are available much quicker.
Find out more about our full-field digital mammography.
Breast ultrasound is used to evaluate breast concerns that are found on your mammogram or identified during a clinical breast exam.
Ultrasound is the only way to tell if a mass is fluid filled (a cyst) or solid (both cancerous and non-cancerous masses can appear as solid on ultrasound).
Read more about our breast ultrasound technology.
A magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI) uses a large, powerful magnet and a computer to create pictures of your breast. Each picture is a very small “slice” of breast tissue. The many, many pictures taken with MRI gives your doctor detailed information to help diagnose and plan your treatment.
Find out more about Breast MRI procedures.
A biopsy may be performed to collect a sample of breast tissue for testing. Tissue samples are obtained through an outpatient procedure and can be performed in less than an hour in some cases. A precision guidance system directs a biopsy needle to the exact spot that must be tested. The needle removes the minimum amount of tissue needed to accurately determine if the sample is cancerous.
Read more about our biopsy procedures and how to prepare for the procedure.