Breast cancer screening can help with early breast cancer detection
Our San Antonio OBGYNs encourage women to have regular breast exams because early detection makes the cancer easier to treat. Breast cancer screening involves clinical breast exams, breast self-awareness and mammograms.
Women whose medical history indicates that they may be at higher risk may need to have additional tests. These include a breast MRI or BRCA genetic screening.
Clinical breast examinations and developing breast self-awareness are important screening tools
Our San Antonio OBGYNs include a clinical breast examination at every annual wellness examination if you are over age 40, and every 1-3 years if you are age 29 to 39.
During this examination, our physicians gently check your breasts for lumps and changes in the size, shape or appearance. We also encourage you to develop a knowledge of how your breasts normally look and feel for screening purposes. This positions you to report changes to us.
Our OBGYNs recommend annual mammograms for women over 40
Our team follows the recommended guidelines from the American Colleges of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for breast cancer screening. Women age 40 and over should receive annual mammograms. A regular mammogram is simply a screening X-ray. A technician places the breast between two glass plates to flatten the tissue. This allows for the best possible view while using a very low level of radiation.
A breast MRI is an additional screening tool for women with a high risk of developing breast cancer
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is only recommended for women who have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. This breast cancer screening test is usually used in conjunction with a regular screening mammogram. Examples of women at high risk include women with the BRCA 1 or 2 gene mutation and those with a family history of breast cancer.
BRCA testing is a genetic screening test
Genetic testing with a simple blood test detects BRCA 1 and 2 genetic mutations that an increase your risk of breast cancer. If your medical history indicates that you may be at risk of having these mutations, we recommend this genetic test as a part of your breast cancer screening. It is a valuable tool that helps us determine whether you need to be monitored more carefully or need additional treatment.
Our San Antonio OBGYNs care deeply about early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Contact us to learn more about breast cancer screening.