Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October is the perfect time to raise awareness about the symptoms and risk factors of breast cancer. It’s also a great time to consider if it’s time for a mammogram, and a reminder to do self-checks for breast cancer on a monthly basis.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends women should start having annual screenings at the age of 40. By having a yearly screening mammogram and doing monthly self-breast examinations, most women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms of breast cancer include a change in the size or shape of the breast, pain in any area of the breast, nipple discharge other than breast milk and a new lump in the breast or underarm. If you have one or more of these symptoms, see your doctor.
Prowers Medical Center offers both screening and diagnostic mammograms. One of the latest advancements in breast imaging is 3D mammography. 3D mammography is available at Prowers Medical Center.
3D mammography is an FDA approved advanced technology that takes multiple images, or x-rays of breast tissue to recreate a 3-dimensional picture of the breast. You may also hear it called breast tomosynthesis. It is different from traditional mammography in that traditional mammography obtains a single image.
The multiple images of breast tissue from 3D mammography give the radiologists a clearer image of breast masses which makes it easier to detect breast cancer. A 3D mammogram does not create any greater risk to patient when compared to a traditional mammogram and takes about 10 seconds compared to 4 seconds to image.
All of our screening mammography equipment has 3D mammography capability. Because 3D mammograms may not be covered by all insurance plans, contact your insurance provider before your appointment.
With an abnormal diagnostic mammogram, the next step is ultrasound or a breast biopsy—done likely that same day by the radiologist. Hearing that you need a biopsy can be scary, but it may simply be a cyst rather than cancer.
“We want to make it easy for patients, so when possible the radiologist reads the diagnostic mammogram during the visit. That way, if further testing is needed we can hopefully do it that same day so patients don’t have to wait for results,” said Tammi Whisennand, Radiology Technologist, (CT) (M) (R) with Prowers Medical Center’s Imaging Department.
When it’s cancer
Hearing you have cancer just may be the scariest words ever uttered. If you’ve been told you have breast cancer, remember there are plenty of sound treatments today.
To save cancer patients the need to travel out of town, the hospital brings cancer specialists to the Prowers Medical Center Specialty Clinic on a regular basis. Dr. Hoyer is an oncologist who comes to Lamar the last Thursday and Friday of each month, along with his oncology PA, Lisa Adams. Dr. DeWing is a breast surgeon who is available the second Monday of each month.
“While she performs breast surgery at UCHealth’s Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, Dr. DeWing provides before and after care here at Prowers,” said Dawn Watts, Clinic Practice Manager.
While radiation treatment is not available at Prowers, Infusion Services offers chemotherapy here at home, so women don’t have to travel for treatment. When a mastectomy is needed, Dr. Swanson, General Surgeon, completes that surgery at Prowers Medical Center.
“The medical center’s operating rooms are state-of-the-art and equivalent to any that I work with in Denver. It’s refreshing to have top notch equipment that allows us to provide high quality care to our patients,” Dr. Swanson said.
Make it a habit to do self-breast exams and to have regular check-ups and mammograms. Finding a lump early often means good results.
Cancer specialists at Prowers Medical Center Specialty Clinic
Dr. Hoyer/Lisa Adams
719-365-6568 for appointments
4th Thursday and Friday of each month, coming October 25th and 26th
2nd Monday of each month, coming next on October 8th