Posts Tagged ‘breast cancer’

The Importance of Regular Breast Cancer Screenings

breast cancer screenings

Cancer is a heartbreaking illness that is very difficult to treat and incredibly painful to go through. Based on 2010-2012 data, 39.6% of Americans are diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime. There are several forms of cancer that can develop many different ways, and a few ways to take breast cancer screenings.

Breast cancer is a form of cancer that develops from breast tissue. It is most common in women over the age of 40 but also affects younger women as well. Men also have a risk of developing breast cancer, although the rate of breast cancer seen in men is far lower than the rate of breast cancer seen in women. In the United States, less than 5 percent of women with breast cancer are younger than 40. Breast cancer rates are highest among women over the age of 70. With any form of cancer, it is better to detect the problem earlier on before it escalates further and becomes harder to treat.

There are several ways to check if breast cancer is present. One way to check yourself for breast cancer is to do a self-examination once a month. Self-examination is the process of an individual looking for physical or visual changes in the breasts. To do a self-examination, your breasts should be dry and there should be no lotions or other similar products on your fingers. Find a comfortable couch or bed and lay down flat on your back. Use the pads, not the tips, of your index, middle, and ring fingers. Start from the outer areas of the breast and work your way towards the center, carefully feeling for any lumps that might exist. If you feel anything, do not panic, for many of these lumps turn out to be non-cancerous.

Self-examinations are just one way to check for breast cancer, but the best and most effective way to screen yourself for breast cancer is by making an appointment with your doctor and scheduling a mammogram or breast ultrasound. Even if no lumps are felt by the self-examination, women over the age of 40 should schedule these breast cancer screenings regularly. Always keep an eye on your health and be sure to check with your doctor if you come across anything concerning. The best way to fight cancer is to detect it early.

Peninsula Radiology urges you to do a monthly breast self exam.  If you or a family member require guidance to find a qualified breast health specialist in your area, please contact one of our seven locations for help.  

The Langley Speedway Pink Project

The Pink Project

Brpink projecteast cancer survivor, Jenny Crittenden and her son Vaughan are dedicated to helping other local patients who are facing cancer.

The Langley Speedway Pink Project will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5, during Modified Madness Night at the track in Hampton.

Proceeds from a Victory Track Walk held prior to the race will go to the Riverside Health System Tree of Life Cancer Fund, along with half the value of all race tickets purchased through Riverside.

The Tree of Life Cancer Fund helps people with immediate needs, such as electric bills, transportation to doctor appointments, rent or medication.

Tickets cost $10 each. An additional donation of $5 per person will reserve your place in the Victory Track Walk. If you’re unable to attend the event,  you can still donate to the cause.

Please click here to buy tickets or donate now.

What Women Need to Know About Breast Density

mammography screening1.     What does it mean to have “dense breasts”?

Breast density is a way to describe the different types of tissue that make up a women’s breast. The breast is made up of glandular tissue, fibrous connective tissue and fatty tissue. The amount of these tissues varies in women. When women have more fibrous connective and glandular tissue than fatty tissue, they have denser breast tissue.

2.     How do women know if they have dense breasts?

Only your doctor can determine if you have dense breasts. Radiologists interpret screening mammograms to assess breast density.

3.     How common is it for women to have dense breasts?

60% of women under 50, 40% of women in their 50s and 25% of women in their 60s. Know that there is a normal spectrum of tissue density and that dense tissue is not in and of itself abnormal and may fluctuate from year to year but tends to decline with age.

4.     What are some of the factors which affect breast density?

The three factors which affect breast density include genetics, pregnancy, and age. High breast density tends to run in families. With each pregnancy your breast density decreases, and typically, younger women have denser breasts.

5.     What are some of the challenges posed by dense breast tissue?

Dense Breast tissue may make it more difficult for radiologist to find cancer or other abnormalities. However, annual mammography improves detection including in women with dense tissue.

6.     What is the relationship between dense breast tissue & cancer?

Dense breast tissue does not necessarily increase the risk of breast cancer, it just makes it more difficult to detect.

7.     What do women need to know if they find out they have dense breasts?

We want to stress that mammography is still a highly valuable tool in the detection o breast cancer. Even though sensitivity for the earliest cancers may be decreased, a mammogram is far from “worthless”.

8.     What are the imaging options for women who find out they has dense breasts?

Currently, studies are being conducted to learn whether Ultrasound and MRI (in combination with mammography) help to improve detection in women with dense breasts.

9.     What can women do to prevent breast cancer?

Know your risks and family history, get screened yearly & preform regular self-exams.  Be aware of the signs which may indicate breast cancer, and make healthy life choices.

10.  What else can women do to increase the chances of early detection?

Take the innovative to contact their representatives that passed this legislation to go a step further than requiring letters of notification… if they want to improve detection they need to require insurers to support additional testing when it is actually indicated and supported by good medical research.  Ultrasound Screening is not currently supported by the literature or by insurance providers.  Breast MRI and occasionally breast BSGI are routinely denied coverage by insurance providers even when indicated and supported by the literature.