Breast Cancer Screening & Prevention

Breast cancer begins when abnormal cells in the breast grow out of control. These cells form tumors that can grow into the surrounding tissue and spread to other parts of the body.

Breast cancer occurs mostly in women, but men can also develop breast cancer.

To schedule a mammogram or SonoCiné, call 775-982-8100.


Non-controllable Risk Factors

  • Genetics
  • Being a woman
  • Aging
  • Dense breast tissue
  • Personal history of breast or other cancers
  • Family history of breast or other cancers
  • Previous breast biopsy with abnormal results
  • Previous radiation to the chest


Controllable Risk Factors

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Lack of exercise
  • Hormone use

To reduce your risk, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, limit your alcohol intake, and don't take hormone replacement therapy.

Patients with a genetic mutation predisposing them to breast cancer may be eligible for genetic counseling and testing.


Renown Health recommends that all women have a formal breast cancer risk assessment beginning at age 18. For women age 40-75, a mammogram is recommended every year. For women age 75 and older, a mammogram is recommended every year if life expectancy is greater than five to seven years (based on age or multiple chronic conditions determined by your doctor).

Digital Mammograms

Mammograms play an important role in early breast cancer detection because they can spot signs of cancer that are too small or subtle to feel.

Digital mammograms has a proven advantage over conventional film mammograms because it produces computer images that can be lightened, darkened and enlarged in real-time, giving doctors a better look at suspicious areas.

The process is similar to a conventional mammogram. The technologist positions each breast and compresses it with a paddle to obtain optimal image quality.

Patients with a high risk may be eligible for additional testing.

SonoCiné Whole Breast Ultrasound

Dense breast tissue and cancer both look white on a mammogram (right). As doctors explain, it's like trying to find a snowball in a snow storm.

If your mammogram shows you have dense breasts (less fatty, more connective tissue) you may want to consider a SonoCiné [so-no-sin-'ay] whole breast ultrasound in addition to your mammogram.

SonoCiné does not require any radiation, breast compression or injections. The exam is painless and only takes about 30 minutes, and can provide early detection in dense breasts when a mammogram alone may not.

Check with your insurance company to find out if SonoCiné screenings are covered. The cost is $125.

Image A - Tiny cancers, which are white, are easily visible in fatty breasts, which show up dark on a mammogram.

Image B - Dense breast tissue shows up white on the mammogram. Cancers, which are also white, can be very hard to detect.

Learn About Dense Breast Tissue

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