Breast Cancer Screening
Breast cancer screening is often credited for the early and accurate detection of precancerous and cancerous cells, which, in many cases, are found in women who are asymptomatic and otherwise healthy. When diagnosed and addressed in its initial stages, breast cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer. Therefore, it is vitally important for a woman to be screened regularly in the manner and frequency recommended by her physician.
The breast cancer screening tests most commonly used include:
- Clinical breast exam – This is a manual examination of the breasts and underarm areas performed by a physician to detect lumps, masses or anything unusual.
- Conventional mammography – The current gold standard in breast cancer screening, a mammogram consists of a series of low-dose breast X-rays (usually two X-ray images of each breast from different angles – top to bottom and side to side) that are interpreted by a radiologist. When performed regularly in conjunction with a clinical breast exam and monthly self-exams, a mammogram can be a very effective cancer-screening tool.
- Full-breast tomosynthesis – This screening is a type of three-dimensional mammogram that takes multiple breast images from many angles.
- Breast MRI – A large magnet, radio waves and a computer are used to produce detailed images of the breast structure.
- Automated breast ultrasound system (ABUS) – Helpful for screening women with dense breast tissue, ABUS utilizes three-dimensional ultrasound volume to produce multiple images that can be interpreted along with the traditional radiographic images of mammography.
Regular screening from a physician is vital because it can help detect cancer before a lump may be noticeable; however, it is still important for women to perform monthly self-exams in between their doctors’ screenings. Self-exams help women to become familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel. Any lumps or physical changes can then be brought to the attention of a health care professional.
A full range of the latest breast cancer screening techniques is available at Moffitt Cancer Center. In a single location, our screening services are complemented by diagnostic test services, advice, treatment and support from a multispecialty group of experts who are experienced in all aspects of cancer care.
If you would like to request an appointment for a breast cancer screening at Moffitt, you do not need to obtain a referral. Please contact us at 1-888-663-3488 to get started.