Breast Health

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Glacial Ridge Health System is proud to offer Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM) technology. Studies show that FFDM has significantly superior physical imaging properties and contrast-detail characteristics compared to digital mammography. In most cases, it offers greater sensitivity in detecting lesions and can identify an abnormal breast mass two years earlier than detection by touch.

Screening Guidelines:

Who should have a mammogram? The American Cancer Society recommends that beginning at the age of 40, women have an annual screening mammogram. In addition to annual screening for women 40 and older, women with certain risk factors should discuss an appropriate screening program with their physician

For women at risk for breast cancer, our breast health experts encourage following these breast cancer screening recommendations:

  • Breast self-awareness
  • Clinical breast exam
  • Mammography
  • Advanced Diagnosis

Breast Imaging:

A routine breast health evaluation should include imaging. Breast imaging is an important part of diagnosing breast cancer. Here are the three major types of imaging:

  • Mammography
  • Ultrasonography
  • Breast MRI
    • Performing an MRI can determine the extent, size and distribution of recently diagnosed breast cancer. A Breast MRI can also be used to screen women at high risk of developing breast cancer or for women who had a mammogram that was unclear.

Breast Biopsy:

Following imaging, suspected breast disease can be confirmed by performing a tissue biopsy. Our surgeon, Dr. Blanco, expertly performs breast conserving surgery for patients at GRHS. He desires to catch the disease in its early stages to increase chances of survival.

A sentinel lymph node biopsy is a surgery that takes out lymph node tissue to look for cancer. A sentinel node biopsy is used to see if a known cancer has spread from the original cancer site. A sentinel node biopsy may be done instead of a more extensive surgery called lymph node dissection.

Early Detection is Vitally Important:

Studies have shown that, when detected early, the chance for successful treatment of breast cancer is nearly 100%. Methods for early detection of breast cancer include clinical examinations, self examinations and screening mammograms. A screening mammogram can identify an abnormal breast mass as early as two years before it can be detected by clinical or self examinations. Read our Early Detection brochure for more information.

Breast Density and Screening:

In 2013, the American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging provided new information for women with dense breasts regarding breast cancer screening. Why is breast density important and how do you know if you have dense breast tissue? Please talk to your doctor. Together, you can decide which, if any, additional screening exams are right for you. For more information about breast density and specific screening, read our brochure on Breast Density.

To schedule a screening, call 320.634.4521.