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Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate. It affects women and men at any age, and any ethnicity. About one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime with an estimated 276,480 new cases expected to be diagnosed in 2020. As of January 2020, there are more than 3.5 million women with a history of breast cancer in the United States.
*Statistics compiled from breastcancer.org.
While a mammogram is still the best option for detecting breast cancer, it’s important to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can talk to your physician if you notice any changes.
While breasts are all made of the same materials, every breast is unique, which is why it’s important to understand what your unique breasts normally look and feel like. Some women have dense breasts, which means there is more fibrous or glandular tissue than fat. Density isn’t related to feeling, size or firmness, and can only be determined on a mammogram.
Dense breast tissue is common, but it can make it difficult to review mammogram results. Depending on the density of your breast, your physician may recommend an ultrasound or MRI to show more findings.
Annual mammograms save lives. Experts recommend that women age 40 and over have annual mammograms. In the past, controversy existed about whether or not women should get mammograms between the ages of 40 and 50. However, studies have shown that breast cancer tends to be more aggressive in women in this age group, so it’s especially important for women to get their annual mammograms starting at age 40.
Radiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating patients using medical imaging procedures. At the MemorialCare Breast Centers, all our radiologists are female and have sub-specialty training in breast imaging. This means that they only read breast images, which often results in a more accurate reading.
The MemorialCare Breast Centers offer a compassionate, multi-disciplinary approach to breast care close to home with two locations at Long Beach Medical Center and in Los Alamitos. Schedule your mammogram online or by calling (562) 933-7880.
Take our online health risk assessment to learn your risk for breast cancer.
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