Early Detection is Everything

Mammograms have recently been in the news as studies have questioned their effectiveness in detecting breast cancer. So what does that mean for you?  

The American Cancer Society recommends women undergo annual mammograms starting at age 40. However, those with a family history or genetic risks may need to start screening at an earlier age.

Some women worry a mammogram will result in a false positive, bringing with it stress and anxiety. In general, about 10 percent of patients return for more-advanced testing. Most will only need additional views of their breast or an ultrasound to receive a clear diagnosis. Some will be asked to return in six months follow-up imaging. In 1 to 2 percent of patients will require a needle biopsy to determine if a suspicious area is cancerous. 

“If a biopsy reveals cancer, catching it early is so important,” said Maria Pilar Martinez, M.D., a radiologist and the medical director for breast imaging at Baptist Health Breast Center. “Some of the information can seem confusing, but there is no doubt mammography can detect cancer before we can feel it in the breast. This gives us a better chance for successful treatment.”

Get the Facts:

  • Modern mammography equipment uses very low levels of radiation, usually about 0.1 to 0.2 rad dose per X-ray (a rad is a measure of radiation-absorbed dose).
  • Try to schedule your mammogram at a time of the month when your breasts are not tender or swollen to help reduce discomfort and ensure a better image. Avoid the week right before your period.
  • On the day of the exam, don’t wear deodorant or antiperspirant. Some of these contain substances that can interfere with the reading of the mammogram by appearing on the X-ray film as white spots.

Key Points

  • One out of every eight women born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life.
  • More than 232,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2014.
  • The five-year survival rate when breast cancer is detected early is 98 percent. (localized stage).

As part of Baptist Health’s ongoing commitment to expanding care in our community, we are offering special pricing for patients without insurance from October 1-31, 2014. The cost for a screening mammogram is $50 and a diagnostic mammogram is $100.

Call 786-573-6000 in Miami-Dade; 954-837-1000 in Broward; 305-434-1588 in Monroe or visit to schedule your mammogram today. Please have your prescription ready when scheduling your mammogram.

Resources:  American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, National Breast Cancer Foundation

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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