When you feel healthy, it’s tempting to delay annual checkups and screenings. No symptoms means no concerns, right?
Unfortunately, we know that underlying medical conditions often go undetected for too long without regular preventive care. Even with the busiest schedule, your health should always be a priority.
At AdventHealth Imaging Center Winter Garden, we’re making it safe and easy to get an essential screening mammogram right in your neighborhood.
“From temperature checks to enforced social distancing and more, know that our facility has extraordinary precautions in place to protect you while you’re here,” says AdventHealth Imaging Center Winter Garden practice manager Jim Laack. “We don’t want any concerns to keep you from making your appointment and getting a potentially life-saving screening.”
Here’s what you need to know about the importance and effectiveness of your screening mammogram.
The Key to Lifesaving Early Detection
“Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women in the U.S.,” says AdventHealth Winter Garden primary care provider Amanda Nadeau, DO. “And annual mammograms are still the top recommended screening for women, allowing the earliest possible detection of breast cancer — even before you experience symptoms.”
The ability to catch cancer early is what makes a mammogram such a powerful tool in the fight against breast cancer. In fact, it can detect breast cancer up to two years before a tumor can be felt by you or your doctor.
Catching cancer early means:
Therapies like breast conservation therapy will be most effective
Treatment can begin early, possibly before the cancer spreads to other parts of your body
You’ll have the best possible chance for a cure
Many women with breast cancer have no symptoms. According to the American Cancer Society, many decades of research show women who have regular mammograms are more likely to have breast cancer found early, are less likely to need aggressive treatment like surgery or chemotherapy and are more likely to be cured.
Your Safety Is Our Priority at Our Winter Garden Imaging Center
We understand that a mammogram may not feel essential if you aren’t having any symptoms, but it’s critical to keep your routine screening appointments. A mammogram can identify cancer long before a lump or other symptom appears.
Your health and safety are our priority. We’re taking several precautions in our Winter Garden imaging center to protect you when you’re here, including universal mask use, temperature checks, enhanced cleaning and sanitation and social distancing.
Screening vs. Diagnostic Mammograms
Mammography uses X-rays to take images of your breasts. Screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms use the same equipment and procedures; they differ in the number and type of images made.
Screening mammograms are for women who have no signs of breast cancer such as a lump, pain or change in breast size or shape. These simple appointments are often complete in 30 minutes or less.
Diagnostic mammograms are sometimes prescribed when a screening mammogram shows an area of concern. They may take magnified images, use different paddles or apply different angles during the exam to enable your care team to make the most accurate diagnosis.
“During a diagnostic mammogram, the images are reviewed by one of our dedicated women’s radiologists before being released.” explains Laack.
Screening if You’re High-Risk
If your risk for breast cancer is higher than average, your care team may recommend additional screenings that include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound.
“Although these can be combined with a mammogram, they are not a replacement,” Dr. Reeves. “Mammograms are still an extremely important first step in getting a picture of your breast health.”
Instead of X-rays, an MRI scan uses a magnetic field to make images. Although an MRI can find breast cancer that mammography misses, it doesn’t find all breast cancers. An MRI is effective for women whose health history includes:
BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
Immediate family member — mother, sister or child — with BRCA1 or BRCA2
Radiation treatment to the chest between ages 10 and 30
This exam uses sound waves to make an image. Women who are pregnant or at very high risk for breast cancer, and who can’t have an MRI or be exposed to X-rays, can benefit from an ultrasound. It’s also better at finding breast cancers in women who have dense breast tissue, which is more difficult to diagnose using mammography.
Know Your Risk for Breast Cancer
It’s important to know your risk for breast cancer. Some risk factors you can control, like your weight and lifestyle. Others you can’t, including:
Density of breast tissue
Family history of breast cancer
First menstrual period before age 12
Genetic mutations BRCA1 and BRCA2
History of fibroids or other benign breast conditions
Race and ethnicity
When you understand the breast cancer risk factors you can control, you can manage them better with the guidance of physicians who have your whole health in mind.
Feel Empowered With Preventive Care
“If you’re between the ages of 20 and 40, you should have a clinical breast exam by your doctor at least every three years,” says Dr. Nadeau. “If you’re 40 or older, an annual screening mammogram may be recommended by your doctor.”
Our breast cancer screenings are focused on one thing: protecting your whole health. Your long-term well-being is important to us — and taking the first step is up to you.
Schedule Your Mammogram in Winter Garden Today
If you haven’t had a mammogram in the past year and you’re over age 40 with no abnormal symptoms, you can self-refer for a screening mammogram. Simply make an appointment at your AdventHealth Winter Garden Imaging Center and have the results sent directly to you.
“We’re committed to making your appointment smooth and stress-free,” adds Laack. “We focus on the safety of our imaging center so you can focus on your health.”
Call us to schedule your mammogram in Winter Garden today at 407-614-0565 or visit ScheduleYourMammo.com.