Back to home Oct. 2012
The Breast Health Centers
Mammography Saves Lives
"The mammogram is the best tool we have to screen for breast cancer," says Gail Santucci, M.D., diagnostic radiologist.
The goal of the annual mammogram is to detect cancer before clinical signs and symptoms—like swelling; lumps; skin irritation or dimpling; breast or nipple pain; or discharge—are noticeable.
"Whether women have a family history of breast cancer, experience any breast signs or symptoms or notice any irregularities in their breast self-exams, a mammogram should be part of annual health screenings beginning at age 40," Dr. Santucci says.
"It is important to note that the guidelines are different for women at increased risk of breast cancer. If a woman's mother, sister or daughter has had breast cancer, she should discuss her risk and screening protocol with her physician."
Though the mammogram is a valuable tool, many medical experts and organizations disagree on when and how often women should have mammograms because of risks associated with exposure to radiation. "Mammography uses a very low dose of radiation," Dr. Santucci says. "So, for most women, the benefits of regular mammograms far outweigh the risk of radiation exposure."
Dr. Santucci urges women to discuss their risk factors and preferences, as well as all of the risks, benefits and limitations of mammography with their physician.
“If a woman's mother, sister or daughter has had breast cancer, she should discuss her risk and screening protocol with her physician,” says Dr. Santucci.
Advancements in Detecting & Treating Breast Cancer
Gail Santucci, M.D.
Florida Radiology Consultants
8791 Conference Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33919