Breast Cancer Screenings in Salida
Mammograms are one of the most effective tools available to diagnose breast
cancer. While a mammogram cannot prevent cancer, it can spot early indicators
of the disease, allowing doctors to start early treatment that will hopefully
stop it from spreading. You should ask a doctor familiar with your medical
history when and how often you should receive mammograms.
Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center is equipped with 3-D digital
mammography, or tomosynthesis, which obtains highly detailed images of
breast tissue. This mammography is capable of catching numerous warning
signs of cancer. The radiation levels of both 2-D and 3-D mammograms are
well below the exposure levels for imaging established by the American
College of Radiology.
Tomosynthesis works by taking multiple X-rays of the breast to create a
3-D image. Regular mammograms, on the other hand, only produce a single
image, limiting the physician’s ability to diagnose issues. Women
with dense breast tissue may be unable to receive accurate results without
a 3-D mammogram.
What a Mammogram Looks For
There are a few anomalies that occur in breast tissue that act as cancer
warning signs. If you have had mammograms in the past, a doctor can perform
a better diagnostic by comparing past results with new ones.
Doctors look for the following in a mammogram:
- Calcifications - small mineral deposits in breast tissue. While large macrocalcifications
(larger deposists) are fairly common in women over 50, microcalcifications
are more alarming, but do not always indicate cancer.
- Cysts -These small fluid-filled lumps are not cancerous, but can appear
as lumps on the breasts much like tumors. Mammograms can help doctors
determine if a lump is a tumor or cyst.
- Tumors - While tumors are not always cancerous, it is important to have
the lump examined by a doctor as soon as possible.
- Breast density - Denser breasts have a higher risk of developing cancer
than others. 3-D mammography has made it easier to examine these tissues
and look for warning signs.
Mammograms are just one of the
imaging tests performed at Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center. If you would
like to schedule an appointment or receive other tests, call (719) 530-2318
or (719) 530-2320.