It is estimated that half of all women in the U.S. will seek consultation for a breast disorder in their lifetime. That's why it is vitally important for women to be proactive and get regular breast health care. Early detection of problems provides the greatest possibility of successful treatment. Routine care is the best way to maintain good breast health.
For women with no excess risk factors, the American Cancer Society recommends this three-step plan for preventive care:
1. Breast self-examination monthly for women age 20 and over
These exams include checking for lumps and looking for changes in the breast or surrounding areas. If you've never performed a self-exam or are not sure you're doing it correctly, ask your doctor or a breast-health professional at a Swedish Breast Center for guidance.
2. Clinical examination annually by a health professional
As part of your annual exam, your doctor or nurse will also carefully check the breast tissue and surrounding areas and look for signs of breast disease.
3. Mammography annually starting at age 40
A mammography is a low-dose X-ray used to routinely evaluate a woman’s breast health. It helps doctors see whether there are any abnormalities or changes in the breast tissue which may need to be further explored.
Although detecting breast cancer at its earliest stages is the main target of routine breast care, finding something abnormal doesn’t mean cancer. Benign breast conditions (non-cancerous breast abnormalites) are very common. In fact, as many as 90 percent of all women have some sort of benign condition. These conditions are not life-threatening, although some of the conditions have been linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer at a later time.
Rest assured that if you do develop breast cancer, the Swedish Cancer Institute offers the region's most extensive range of services and expertise. These include leading cancer specialists, a broad range of treatment options, state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, and integrated cancer care that is as personal as it is progressive and comprehensive.
Our breast services include: