Mammogram - X-Ray Image


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Screening
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The earlier that breast cancer is found, the easier it is to treat. This is why it is important to screen, or check for the signs of cancer, regularly. The UC Irvine Breast Health Center physicians follow the American Cancer Society's recommended screening guidelines. The American Cancer Society's cancer screening guidelines are recommended for those people at average risk for cancer (unless otherwise specified) and without any specific symptoms. People who are at increased risk for certain cancers may need to follow a different screening schedule, such as starting at an earlier age or being screened more often. Those with symptoms that could be related to cancer should see their doctor right away.

Recommended Screening for Breast Cancer involves physical examination and generally mammography as the primary imaging technique. However, if a suspicious area is identified on a screening examination then access to other imaging technologies is critical for establishing an accurate diagnosis. The choice of secondary imaging techniques depends upon expert interpretation of the mammogram. In some cases, breast ultrasound is the best choice in other cases dedicated breast MRI is the better option. The role of PET/CT as a screening tool is not well established. UC Irvine uses state of the art digital mammography and has dedicated radiologists with expertise in breast imaging with all four modalities. Having experts in and access to all four imaging technologies is an advantage for UC Irvine breast patients and their health care team.

Scientists and Physicians at UC Irvine are working to provide better tools for understanding and assessing an individual's risk, to decrease that risk and prevent them from developing breast cancer, and to improve screening through research.

Dr. Wen-Hwa Lee is performing studies to identify markers of early breast cancer development that could be found in the blood. This may lead to new ways to screen for cancer and detect it earlier. Dr Lydia Su and Dr. Orhan Nalcioglu are developing advanced MRI methods to better screen individuals for breast cancer without exposure to X-rays. Dr. David Hsiang and Dr. Bruce Tromberg are developing a brand new imaging technique, Optical Scanning, that uses light and provides important information on what is happening inside the breast. Both MRI and the Optical Scanning techniques are being investigated in clinical trials at UC Irvine and other collaborating institutions.

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>> See also "Risk"
>> See also "Prevention"