Image of Jackie Caplan Wiggins, a breast cancer patient at MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center

Early detection is a woman’s best defense against breast cancer, which threatens the lives of one in eight women. At the MemorialCare Breast Center at Long Beach Medical Center, digital mammography, MRI and ultrasound screening tools ensure the highest degree of accuracy in diagnosing breast cancer to establish treatment plans and improve patient outcomes.

The Breast Center’s state-of-the-art digital mammography provides doctors with almost instantaneous images, and the woman screened with a prompt diagnosis. Homayoon Sanati, MD, medical director of the Breast Center, explains that breast MRI and ultrasound may increase detection of very small cancers.

“They help us screen women who have a family history of cancer, as well as those who have dense breasts, which are common in younger women,” says Dr. Sanati.

According to the American Cancer Society, women should start annual screenings for breast cancer at age 40. “About 15 percent of our breast cancer patients are age 40 to 49. In younger women, breast cancer tends to be more aggressive. Early detection maximizes their treatment options and recoveries, as it does for women of all ages,” adds Dr. Sanati.

Forever Grateful For Early Detection

One year ago, Jackie Caplan Wiggins, 54, had a mammogram, a breast ultrasound and a core biopsy at the MemorialCare Breast Center. That’s when Jackie learned she had an early-stage invasive ductal carcinoma in her right breast. Because of the results revealed during genetic testing, she discovered she had a gene mutation for the disease.

“Genetic risk assessments and testing provide one more way for us to get the upper hand on prevention and early intervention for the patient and her family members,” says Dr. Sanati.

Jackie, whose treatment included surgery, is healthy today. She describes her breast care team as “helpful, loving and truly caring.” The experience moved Jackie to mentor newly diagnosed women.

“It’s so important to have these exams,” says Jackie. “It’s such a minimal thing to do for peace of mind. I never thought it would happen to me. None of us ever do.”

Open six days a week with Saturday hours and same day biopsy appointments if needed, our Breast Center team is here to serve you. To schedule a mammogram request an appointment online .