Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer survivors, survivors of other types of cancer and people who have never had cancer all have different needs when it comes to breast cancer screening. Here’s what you need to know.
Of the millions of women who get their mammogram each year, the vast majority will be told that their results are normal. However, if you do have an abnormal screening mammogram, you will need to undergo further testing.

April is Cancer Control Month and an opportunity to take a closer look at ways to minimize the impact of cancer in our area.

Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in African-American women, who are 41% more likely than white women to die of the disease.

On a mammogram, fat looks dark grey or black whereas breast tissue looks white. That white area can be an issue because many small breast cancers also appear as white, so it’s harder to detect them in dense breasts.

Let’s face it: no cancer is a good cancer. But if you do get cancer, being diagnosed at Stage 0 might be considered a best-case scenario. This year, an estimated 252,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, with 63,410 of those women being diagnosed with "in situ" breast cancer, often referred to as Stage 0.

Getting a yearly screening mammogram is one of the most important things a woman over the age of 40 can do for her health.

In November I began my journey as a Community Patient Navigator here at Roswell Park. This position was created through a New York State (NYS) grant with the goal of increasing the number of women in NYS getting screened for breast cancer.  For most women over 40, the recommended breast cancer screening is a yearly mammogram.

Women at average risk for breast cancer should have an annual mammogram beginning at age 40.

Adult women, starting at age 20, are encouraged to perform a breast self-exam at least once a month. The key to a successful self-exam is consistency.

"How did I feel after learning I had breast cancer? A feeling of loneliness,” says Maria Torres, a resident of Buffalo, New York and breast and cervical cancer survivor.

You may have heard about a technology called 3D mammography. We get quite a few questions about it from patients in our Breast Center. I’m very happy to announce that we now have the capability to offer 3D mammograms at the Roswell Park Mammography Center, but it’s important to understand what 3D mammography is used for and who will benefit most from the technology.