October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month A Reminder of Breast Cancer Screening from Grand View
(October 6, 2010) Sellersville, PA – Breast Cancer Awareness Month—observed every October—recognizes breast cancer as the second leading cause of cancer in American women. It is a time to be reminded of the importance of screening tests in detecting breast cancer at its earliest stages when it is most treatable.
Breast cancer occurs when malignant cells form in the tissues of the breast. The disease is linked to risk factors such as age as well as a woman’s personal and family medical history. Reproductive and menstrual history, previous radiation treatment in the breast or chest area, and breast density are additional factors that help determine level of risk.
While some patients may notice a lump, area of thickening, dimple in the breast, swelling, or redness of the breast, others may not experience any outward signs or symptoms of breast cancer. Therefore, screening plays an important role in detection.
“Screening tests are important tools for healthcare providers. When physicians recommend screening tests, we don’t necessarily believe a patient has cancer,” says Lorraine Dougherty, M.D., medical oncologist at Bux-Mont Oncology in Sellersville. “Screening tests are performed when a patient doesn’t have symptoms.”
In observance of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Grand View Hospital is Painting the Town Pink, urging women to schedule a mammogram. Women who pledge to have a mammogram done will receive a free tote bag. Online pledges are being accepted at www.gvh.org
. A member of Grand View's scheduling department will follow up to schedule a mammogram. Alternatively, an appointment for a mammogram can be scheduled by calling Grand View Central Scheduling at (215) 453-4100
The three tests typically used in breast cancer screening are mammograms, clinical breast exams, and breast self-exams. The mammogram is an X-ray of the breasts that finds tumors that are too small to feel. The detection ability of a mammogram depends on tumor size, breast tissue density, and the skill of the radiologist reading the mammogram. A clinical breast exam is a manual exam performed by a healthcare professional; a breast self-exam is a manual exam that a woman can do on her own.
The American Cancer Society recommends that:
- Women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year to screen for breast cancer.
- Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam about every three years and for women 40 and older, every year.
- Breast self-exam is an option for women starting in their 20s.
- Some women at high risk for breast cancer due to family history, genetic predisposition, or certain other factors should have screening with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in addition to a yearly mammogram.
“While MRI is more sensitive than a mammogram, it can produce a higher number of false-positive results, which may lead to unneeded biopsies and other tests,” says Edwin Shearburn, III, M.D. of Grand View Surgical Associates. “It is generally not recommended as a breast screening tool on its own because it also can miss some cancers that a mammogram would detect.”
A leader in cancer care for Upper Bucks and Northeastern Montgomery Counties, Grand View Hospital provides patients with a variety of tools to help in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. These include medical oncology, radiation oncology, cancer support groups, clinical trials, home care services, hospice, palliative care services, lymphedema therapy, cancer rehabilitation services, and other specialized cancer programs.
The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has granted three-year approval with commendation to Grand View’s Regional Cancer Program. The Outpatient Center at Sellersville has been awarded an accreditation after a recent survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The center is now a designated Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, according to the Commission on Quality and Safety and the Commission on Breast Excellence. The Radiation Oncology Practice of Grand View Hospital and the High Point Cancer Center were awarded three-year accreditation by the American College of Radiation Oncology. (ACRO)
Grand View Hospital, Bucks County’s first hospital, has provided residents of Bucks and Montgomery Counties with comprehensive health care services since 1913. Grand View offers a range of care – particularly emphasizing the areas of cancer treatment, women's and children's health, surgery, orthopaedics, and heart and vascular care.