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An Exam for Life

One in eight women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Though the disease primarily affects women, it also occurs in men (about one in 1000). Because breast cancer cannot be prevented, the most important weapon against it is early detection.

The image on the left shows an early breast cancer, while the image on the right shows a normal breast. Mammography is leading the way in the fight against this disease. With regular mammograms, most types of breast cancer can be detected up to two to four years before either you or your doctor can feel a lump. The smaller and the more localized the cancer at the time of diagnosis and treatment, the greater the likelihood of a cure.

More lives will be saved if women in their forties get mammograms every year. Talk with your doctor about beginning a program of regular mammograms. Remember, early detection saves lives, perhaps your own. For more information about the complete guidelines for mammography, contact your local American Cancer Society, or visit the American Cancer Society web site.

Women’s Health Group of Southeast Georgia offers Mammography both to its patients and to the community through Southeast Georgia Health System. This life-saving, low-dose x-ray is performed in our comfortable, state-of-the-art facility utilizing the latest in Digital Technology. We are mammography certified by the FDA and accredited by the American College of Radiology. Your mammogram may be scheduled at the same time as your regular check up with your doctor, adding to your convenience.

A certified and experienced technologist, utilizing the latest Digital Mammography equipment, will perform your mammogram. This simple and safe procedure takes just a few minutes and is normally not painful. The pressure applied to the breast in order to achieve a detailed picture may be uncomfortable, but will only last a few moments for each view taken.

On occasion, additional mammogram views or ultrasound of the breast may be required. This is normal in order to gain more information for a complete and accurate diagnosis. If you should require additional studies, you will be contacted by phone shortly following your exam.

Every attempt will be made to obtain prior mammogram studies for review. Our specially trained, board certified Radiologists that interpret your mammograms will compare old and new studies in order to make a more accurate diagnosis.

In addition, Southeast Georgia Health System/Women’s Health Group utilizes CAD technology (Computer Aided Diagnosis) to pre-read your mammograms, aiding the Radiologist in the interpretation process. Studies have shown CAD may reduce the number of missed breast cancers by almost 20%.

Are You at Risk for Breast Cancer?

Every woman is at risk for developing breast cancer. The simple truth is that just being a woman puts you at risk for breast cancer, and that risk increases with age. Three-fourths of all breast cancers occur in women over 50.

Other risks include women with a personal history of breast cancer, or whose close female relatives, such as a mother or sister, have had the disease. Of all the women who develop breast cancer, however, 80% have no family history of the disease. If you began menstruating before age 12, had your first full-term pregnancy after age 30, or have had no children, you may be at risk for developing the disease as well.

Remember, early detection and prompt treatment is the best protection against breast cancer.

  • Have regular mammograms starting at age 40.
  • See your doctor for regular breast exams, and finally,
  • Practice monthly Breast Self-Exams.

Talk to your doctor about taking a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Test. This simple questionaire can help estimate your chances of getting breast cancer.

You can calculate your personal risk of breast cancer with the National Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool. If anyone in your family has had breast or ovarian cancer, you should be aware of a genetic test that can be performed. This test will tell you if you have a gene mutation that might increase your chances of developing breast of ovarian cancer. For more information, please visit the BRAC Analysis web site.

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