Sentara is a proven leader in breast health. From education and prevention to leading-edge treatments, patients benefit from resources throughout Sentara, including four comprehensive breast centers.
Mammography is considered an invaluable tool against breast cancer, the second most deadly type of cancer in women. Using a special type of low-dose X-ray, a mammogram can often show tumors up to two years before they can be felt.
Mammograms are recommended every year for women older than 40, younger women with symptoms of breast cancer, or those with a high risk for the disease.
Sentara breast care centers offer a calm, patient-centered environment to make breast healthcare as easy and comfortable as possible. Sentara’s multi-disciplinary team approach reassures patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer that their care is being reviewed by several different experts. All Sentara mammography sites use digital mammography.
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The breast cancer physicians of the Sentara Cancer Network urge women to continue to follow the current guidelines recommending yearly screening mammography beginning at age 40. This recommendation continues to be endorsed by these prominent organizations: the American Cancer Society, American College of OB/GYN, American College of Radiology, American Society of Breast Disease, American College of Surgeons and the Society for Breast Imaging.
There is universal agreement that screening mammography saves lives.
Women who undergo screening mammography decrease their chance of dying from breast cancer by 30%.
75% of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.
250 women in their 40s were diagnosed with breast cancer within the Sentara Network in 2009.
American Cancer Society Guidelines for Early Breast Cancer Detection in Women Without Symptoms
Mammogram: Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
Clinical breast exam: Clinical breast exams should be part of a periodic health exam - about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over.
Breast awareness and breast self-exam: Women should know how their breasts normally feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care providers. Breast self-exams are an option for women starting in their 20s.
Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Screening MRI is recommended for women with an approximately 20-25% or greater lifetime risk of breast cancer, including women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer and women who were treated for Hodgkin's disease.