Breast Health Should be Recognized Year-Round as Breast Cancer is the Second Most Common Cancer in Women

By: Vicki Thornhill, Imaging Facility Manager -

October is when breast cancer awareness is observed on a national scale, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this particular cancer is the second most common cancer in American women and per breastcancer.org, an estimated 276,480 invasive breast cancers are expected to be diagnosed among women this year alone - therefore there should be an awareness of breast cancer all year long.

Breast cancer is not a one size fits all disease. It is a delicate journey that is unique to each patient and one that our team handles with extreme care and precision. Our board-certified radiologists within our women’s imaging team are highly trained with vast experience in providing expert diagnosis and individualized care for treatments that aid in breast cancer detection.

It’s widely recommended that women 40 and older undergo a breast exam, known as a mammogram. An annual mammogram starting at the young age of 40 allows our doctors to compare any breast tissue changes and developments year over year. The equipment used for mammograms can look intimidating and may have a reputation of inflicting some pain or discomfort, however, over time, mammography technology has transformed to become progressively more advanced and comfortable for patients. That said, patients may still experience some discomfort with compression, but it is remarkably less than years ago.

At Desert Radiology, we utilize Hologic’s Genius 3D Mammography, a revolutionized imaging tool that allows our physicians to examine breast tissue layer by layer. Rather than viewing all of the complexities of your breast tissue in a flat image as with traditional 2D mammography, the 3D mammography allows our team to better view fine details which are no longer hidden by the tissue above or below them. 

As a result of technological innovations within the radiologic field, Genius 3D Mammography detects 41 percent more invasive breast cancers and reduces false positives by up to 40 percent, meaning one simple thing – early detection.

Whether or not you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, annual breast imaging is crucial for the health of any patient.   At only half an hour in duration, routine imaging is convenient, simple and can ultimately have a drastic impact on the successful remediation of a potential breast cancer diagnosis.

Each of us at Desert Radiology is steadfast in elevating breast cancer awareness for our patients as well as the community at large. We continually involve ourselves with several breast cancer research organizations including the prominent Susan G. Komen foundation. 

Whether or not you are new to mammograms or had some experience with them, it is essential to ask your healthcare provider any questions you may have about the screening process and significance of each finding. 

While October is the month when breast cancer awareness is brought to the national stage, your breast health should remain a priority all year round.  In addition to annual mammograms, we encourage all patients to perform monthly breast self-exams.  

Performing routine breast self-examinations helps you understand the normal look and feel of your breasts.  If you notice a change in your breasts that seem abnormal or if you notice that one breast is different when compared to the other, you should speak to your healthcare provider for further evaluation and possible mammography.  

It is important to us that our patients understand everything about their health and feel like they are in a trusted partnership with their healthcare provider and Desert Radiology.  There is nothing more important to us than the health and well-being of our patients and beloved community.

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