Breast Cancer Screening & Diagnostics
Since 1990 breast cancer mortality has decreased by 34% due to early detection through comprehensive breast screening and improved breast cancer treatments. There are several methods of breast cancer screening Los Angeles women have available to them. These are used to further diagnose a suspicious mass detected by a mammogram, a breast self-exam or during a clinical breast exam performed by a qualified doctor or nurse.
Adult women should make a habit of completing a monthly breast self-examination to detect any lumps or changes in skin texture or overall appearance. About 40% of breast cancers are detected in this way. Regularly examining the breast will also make you more familiar with the appearance of your breasts so that any changes such as dimpling or puckering will be noticed for further discussion with your physician.
During your annual physical, your physician will examine your breasts to check for lumps, unusual texture, nipple discharge or rashes. Your physician is trained to detect many abnormalities that you may not be aware of. During the exam you will be asked to raise your arms, or place your hands on your waist to see if there is any puckering or unusual movement of breast tissue. You should report any breast pain or tenderness or anything unusual that you have noticed concerning your breasts or your armpit areas.
If a lump or other abnormality is detected during your breast screening, your doctor will most likely recommend further testing. Most of these lumps and masses are not malignant but will require testing to rule out cancer. This can include a mammogram, ultrasound, or a biopsy of the lump.
It should be noted that lumps that are soft, round and movable are usually not cancerous. Masses that seem attached to breast tissue and are hard and oddly shaped are more likely to be cancerous and must be investigated further to rule out cancer.
The importance of annual breast screening at an accredited breast care facility, combined with monthly breast self-exams is vital to ensure that any cancer is detected in its earliest stage. Our Beverly Hills breast care center is accredited and can deliver among the most professionally evaluated breast cancer screening in the Los Angeles area.
To learn more about breast cancer screening, visit cdc.gov.
Our Breast Cancer Screening Options:
Routine Breast Self-Examinations
The first step in breast cancer screening in Beverly Hills should be breast self-exams. Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month.
Self breast exams help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes.
40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.
A screening mammogram is an x-ray image of the breast that shows changes in the tissue, new lumps, or tiny clusters of calcium that can be the first signs of cancer that cannot be felt or seen on MRI, Ultrasound or breast self-exam.
A breast ultrasound is a safe and painless way using sound waves to see whether a breast lump is filled with fluid (a cyst) or if it is a solid lump. An ultrasound does not replace the need for a mammogram, but it is often used to check abnormal results from a mammogram.
A breast biopsy is a procedure to remove a small sample of breast tissue for laboratory testing. Breast biopsy is a way to evaluate a suspicious area in your breast to determine if it is breast cancer. There are several types of breast biopsy procedures.
BRCA Genetic Testing
A BRCA mutation is a mutation in either of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are tumor suppressing genes. BRCA Genetic Testing finds mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. Specific inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase the risk of female breast and ovarian cancers, and they have been associated with increased risks of several additional types of cancer.
Together, BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations account for about 20 to 25 percent of hereditary breast cancers and about 5 to 10 percent of all breast cancers.
For more information or to schedule an appointment for breast cancer screening, contact the breast cancer specialists at Bedford Breast Center servicing Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and the greater Los Angeles area.