breast cancerBreast Cancer Awarness & Early Detection
"People should be afraid of the cancer, not the mammogram." -Nancy Reagan

October is Breast Cancer awareness month. It is important for women and men to practice early detection methods to help detect and prevent breast cancer.

The Breast Self Examination is encouraged to help individuals become familiar with normal changes and irregularities in their breast tissue. Though a self exam cannot detect the small lumps a mammogram and regular self exams are still recommended.

Depending on a patients family history Dr. Corbin recommends Clinical breast exams performed by a doctor or nurse trained in this field of examination, starting at age 20. If a patient does not have a family history of Breast Cancer, generally Dr. Corbin recommends annual mammograms starting at the age of 40. A mammogram is an X-Ray of the breast. The breast is squeezed between two plates to compress the tissue so that the X-rays can pass through it. Patients with breast implants should let the mammogram technician or Radiologist know about the implants before the X-ray.

Two other detection methods for Breast cancer are Ultrasound and MRI. An ultra sound produces an image of the breasts by exposing it to high-frequency sound waves. This is generally recommended to some patients who have a suspicious lump. Some lumps may be solid and others a fluid filled cyst. Usually cysts are benign and just need to be drained with a needle. Ultrasound can also be useful to guide a needle biopsy. Breast Implant patients having needle biopsy procedures should make sure the doctor is experience in this area to help avoid rupturing the implant. Dr. Corbin is experienced in performing this procedure.

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a test that uses magnets and radio waves to create a detailed image of the breast. This test is usually an effective way of detecting breast cancer. Women who have a family history of breast cancer should consider a yearly scan in addition to a mammogram. MRI’S are also recommended to breast implant patients who suspect they may have an implant rupture. Other candidates for MRI’S are women with dense breasts. Many premenopausal women have dense breasts. This means their breasts have more glandular and connective tissue than fat. Sometimes a woman can tell by feeling her breasts but to confirm this they should have a mammogram. Sometimes dense tissue can hide tumors even from the experts this is another reason women with dense breasts are encouraged to have MRI’S.

Though most breast lumps found are benign (non Cancerous) it is always recommended to have them assessed by a professional in this area. Remember the old saying, “Better Safe than Sorry.”

For the month of October 2006, Dr. Corbin’s breast implant patients can book a complimentary breast exam with Dr. Corbin’s nurse. This free exam will also include a lesson on self breast examination.

Early detection of breast cancer can save lives.

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