The three keys to early detection of breast disease are breast self-exams, yearly examination by a physician and mammography.
Many women have a breast lump at some time. No matter what your age, you should check your breasts once a month. And once a year, make sure you have an exam performed by a physician or a trained health professional.
A mammogram is an x-ray test that can reveal very small tumors or cancer spots well before they can be felt in a physical exam.
Current guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommend screening mammography every year for women beginning at age 40. According to the National Cancer Institute, women at increased risk due to genetic history of breast cancer should seek expert medical advice about whether they should begin screening before age 40.
All our technologists are certified to perform mammograms, and our Women’s Center is accredited by the American College of Radiology. We also offer stereotactic biopsies for diagnosing breast lumps which may help you avoid the stress and scarring of surgical biopsy.
In addition to our comprehensive line of breast imaging services – including screening mammography, breast ultrasound, stereotactic breast biopsies, wire localization and ultrasound-guided biopsy, Holyoke Medical Center also offers Breast MRI, an advanced procedure designed as a powerful diagnostic tool used in conjunction with conventional mammography.
At the Women’s Center we offer the Bosom Buddies/Amigas De Pecho Breast Cancer Support Program. It offers a bi-lingual/ bi-cultural support program specifically for women with breast cancer and survivors. A breast cancer support group meets every Thursday from 5:30 – 7:30 at the Women’s Center. It also offers one on one support by matching a newly diagnosed cancer patient with a survivor, home visits to those that are home bound, transportation help to oncology appointments and the support group, and other outreach services. The Bosom Buddies/Amigas De Pecho program also offers free mammograms for the un-insured.
This program is sponsored by a grant from Susan G. Komen for the Cure Massachusetts affiliate. For more info on Komen for the Cure please visit www.komenmass.org